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December 2015 / Free!

Entertaining local gift ideas for everyone on your nice list

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A N D R E W L L O Y D W E B B E R ’S

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E xc usi v ely Sponsor ed by M eijer .

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To: Y





616-551-1957 -


His name is synonymous with the best in hospitality and the culinary arts. Now, Wolfgang Puck brings his two newest creations and signature cuisine to Grand Rapids. The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; featuring gourmet pizzas and chef’s favorite entrees for lunch and dinner, and The Kitchen Counter; serving up quick, made-to-order breakfast and lunch.

For reservations visit

What’s Inside

December 2015 | Volume 27, Issue 12

SCENE: 13 Random Notes 14 Holiday Best Bets 15 SantaCon 16 Where to Donate/Volunteer for the Holidays

SOUNDS: 18 Local: Fine Fine Titans 20 Top Local Albums 22 Touring: The Sword

west michigan holiday gift guide

29 77

coffee shops

24 Holiday Albums 26 WYCE Playlist: Songs We Like

SPECIAL SECTION: 29 Holiday Gift Guide: Local ideas for shopping and entertaining

SIGHTS: 69 Visual Art: Local Printmakers 70 Lit Life: Murder and Mayhem in Grand Rapids 72 Indie Film: Big Screen Cuisine Series 74 Comedy: Bill Burr’s F Is for Family


holiday best bets

DINING & DRINKING: 77 Taste This: Coffee Shops 80 Meet the Chef 82 Beer: Christmas Beer Taste-off 84 Gay Bars

local printmakers


86 Last Call: Long Road Distillers

Letter from the Editor


o this is Christmas — and what have you done? With a new year rapidly approaching, and a trail of personal regrets left behind, there’s still time to close out 2015 with some positive vibes and experiences with your loved ones. This is where Revue’s annual Holiday Gift Guide comes in handy. Use this special issue to not only find locally-owned shops to buy unique Christmas presents, also take note of the many holiday-themed events happening across West Michigan. Instead of just counting down the days to Dec. 25, try enjoying the entire month for a change. Browse chic boutiques and then take the family to A Classic Rock Christmas at DeVos Performance Hall on Dec. 21 — or browse the Holiday Artists’ Market at Steelcase Town Hall (Dec. 4-5), maybe snag tickets to the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Cirque de Noel (Dec. 22-23), etc. And that’s just a minuscule sample of what’s going on this month.

Why restrict the jolliest time of year to Best Buy and That plan sounds dismal at best. Supporting your local economy, while spending time with your family, is much better than purchasing a new big-screen television. OK … the big screen sounds pretty amazing. But, still, when that TV inevitably breaks two days after the warranty expires, you’ll be reminded of exactly how worthless those luxury items are. So, get up and get out there with your friends and family — and be sure to bring along this issue for reference!

W est M ichigan ’ s E ntertainment G uide

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Rich Tupica / Associate Editor Jayson Bussa / Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Ad Design Rachel Harper, Phil Artz Contributing Writers Missy Black Pete Bruinsma Nicolette Chambery Steven G. de Polo Mark Deming Audria Larsen Dwayne Hoover Nick Manes

Steve Miller Eric Mitts Mayra Monroy Lindsay Patton-Carson Nicole Rico Rei Robinson Josh Spanninga Marjorie Steele

Illustrations Anthony Carpenter Contributing Photographer Katy Batdorff

Rich Tupica, Managing Editor

Revue Minions Michael Coletta, Elma Talundzic, Jacqueline Bull, Kristen Guilbert Sales / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Digital Editor Jayson Bussa /

Revue is Hiring! Revue Advertising Sales Representative

Some sales experience is preferred. This is a full-time position.

Find us online! Website: Twitter: Facebook:

Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2015, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

Revue Magazine Delivery Driver A valid driver’s license and car insurance is required. Must be available one or two days each month. Must have own transportation.

For more information contact Rich Tupica

Call: 517-898-0034 or email

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On the cover: Holiday Gift Guide illustration by Anthony Carpenter. See page 29.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31 IN THE EVENT CENTER • 8:30 PM – 2 AM Dance the night away with the Chicago Catz, one of the Windy City’s best bands, plus a red hot DJ and an array of tasty appetizers.






Tickets available at the FireKeepers Box Office, online at or by calling 877.FKC.8777.

Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.

FK-24544_Dec_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

FireK Casin


Dec. JOB










REVUEWM.COM | December 20154:08 | 11 11/17/15 PM

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Random Notes HOLIDAY ///


Gilda’s LaughFest announces its 2016 line-up Dec. 3 at 7:30 a.m. at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The festival itself takes place from March 10-20. LaughFest is the nation’s first ever comedy festival and includes stand-up, improv, film, authors and community showcases. Past featured artists include Kevin Hart, Patton Oswalt, Betty White, Brian Posehn, Wanda Sykes and George Lopez, among many others. Tickets are available before the general public with purchase of a $100 LaughFest Friends membership before Dec. 3. Call (616) 735-4242 or go to laughfestgr. org to buy a membership.

Think outside the big-box store this year and check out the Grand Rapids Downtown Market on Dec. 9 from 4-8 p.m. for its Winter Wonderland Open House. The event is free and features activities for the whole family, including carolers, holiday craft stations, cooking demonstrations and a holiday-themed bar with festive drinks. Children can meet Santa from 5-8 p.m. in the Greenhouse and write Dear Santa letters. The event is also collecting men’s and women’s winter garments to donate to Guiding Light Mission in the Heartside Neighborhood. Donations will be collected through Jan. 1. Visit for more information.

ART ///

If you’re shopping for someone who is one-of-a-kind, perhaps you should consider finding them a distinct gift at LowellArts! Holiday Market, it runs through Dec. 23 and features work by more than 40 area artisans. Browse everything from jewelry, glasswork and handbags, to leatherwork, textiles and pottery. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Throughout the past few months the EDM/ jam-band heavy Electric Forest Festival has been releasing a series of videos entitled Once Upon The Forest: Awakening via their website that, according to EF, “celebrates the qualities that spark love for Electric Forest in its community – the invitation to consider our oneness, the exploration of music, and the depth of creativity.” This month the series will culminate with the first chance to purchase tickets to the upcoming 2016 event,

The Corn Fed Girls Christmas Extravaganza: Bell’s Eccentric Cafe Dec. 19

Celebrate NYE with Tony Lucca at Seven Steps Up which blends music with a trippy, illuminated forest environment. Check out the videos at Tired of the bitter cold? Check out The Corn Fed Girls Christmas Extravaganza at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe for a moment of summer in the dreariness of winter. The Kalamazoo-based Corn Fed Girls, as well as Guitar Up!, plays true Americana alongside palm trees, pineapples and volcanoes. The Dec. 19 show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.


Seven Steps Up celebrates New Year’s Eve with Tony Lucca’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. The Dec. 31 event starts at 7:30 p.m. There will be music from Tony Lucca, best known for placing third on The Voice’s second season and was signed to Adam Levine’s 222 Records. The cost of a ticket gets you unlimited alcoholic beverages, appetizers, your choice of dinner (vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available), dessert and a bottle of champagne.

Want a more family-friendly environment? Then ring in the New Year with entertainment ranging from magic and music to comedy and fireworks with Kalamazoo’s New Year’s Fest. The all-ages event takes place in downtown Kalamazoo Dec. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Refreshments are available. Admission is granted with the purchase of a $5 New Year’s Fest button at EventSprout. com. More at Partnering with New Year’s Fest is the Kalamazoo Wings’ New Year’s Eve Party. The game starts at 6 p.m. and tickets range from $14-$18.

BEER ///

Sample beers amidst an intimate guided tour of West Michigan breweries with Grand Rapids Beer Tours. Tours include transportation to and from the breweries in a 15-passenger tour van, a meet and greet with brewers and samples of their beers. There are two tours scheduled for December: Tour 1, which takes place Dec. 12 from noon-4 p.m. and explores East Side breweries Elk Brewing, Harmony Brewing Company and Brewery Vivant. Tour 2 visits Grand Rapids Central breweries, including Founders Brewing Company, The Mitten Brewing Company and Grand Rapids Brewing Company on Dec. 19 from 12-4 p.m. Each tour is $50. For more information, including how to book a private tour, visit

Gremlins at Alamo Drafthouse


For those who insist on watching at least one ‘80s Christmas flick each year, The Alamo Drafthouse in Kalamazoo screens Gremlins on Dec. 3 at 7:15 p.m. Re-experience the adorableness of Gizmo and the antics of Stripe & Co. while you enjoy dinner and a drink. 18 and up. Children age 6 and up allowed with an adult. Go to kalamazoo for tickets. Another throwback holiday film hitting the big screen this month is the 1989 John Hughes-penned classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It screens Dec. 18 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. Doors are at 7 p.m., tickets are $8. There will be a full bar with holiday-themed drinks and $1 of every ticket will be donated to WMU’s Seita Scholars Program. Tickets can be purchased via Yule crack up! n Random Notes is compiled by Nicole Rico.

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


Your Local Guide to the Holidays! West Michigan is a long way from the North Pole, but there’s no shortage of yuletide-inspired shindigs throughout December. From unique Christmas shopping options to extravagant holiday events, here’s a shortlist of holly, jolly happenings.

Hark Up Christmas Concert 2015

Grand Rapids

DeVos Center for Worship and Arts 2300 Plymouth Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 4–6 $12–$35,

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World Through early January Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids $9-$12, children under 2: free

For those looking to get both holly and jolly, Dec. 4-6 Hark Up Christmas 2015 takes over DeVos Center for Worship and Arts. This year’s presentation, Sing a New Song — A Christmas of Hope, features a children’s choir, multi-cultural dance team and a full string group, as well as a “multimedia interactive element.”

Get a taste of holidays around the world at Meijer Gardens. This large exhibition houses over 300,000 lights and over 40 international displays of holiday cheer. You can experience a variety of events, including the 19th Annual Holiday Gift Show, the Original Dickens Carolers and other holiday gatherings.

Kzoo area Holiday Kerstmarkt, Holland

UICA 27th Annual Holiday Artists’ Market

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Steelcase Town Hall 901 44th St. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 4: Member Preview: 5:30 p.m., Public: 6–9 p.m. Dec. 5: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. FREE! Looking for a homegrown gift? You will find jewelry, home goods, art, cards, toys and accessories created by local artists at UICA’s annual Holiday Artists’ Market. There’s also live music, food and beverage vendors, and a chance to support local artists this holiday season. With 60+ participating artists, you are sure to find the perfect gift for friends, family and yourself!

Grand Caroling Events Welsh Auditorium, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 4, 11, 18, 6–7 p.m. Free! Ever want to bundle up the family and go caroling door-to-door in your neighborhood? Me neither.

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But how about joining a crowd of hundreds at the steps of the venerable Welsh Auditorium downtown to sing holiday tunes, led by some amazing choral groups? Now you’re singing a different tune.  Grand Caroling happens on the first three Fridays in December, where you can shake off the winter blues and croon to your heart’s content. The event and song books are free.   The song leaders are the West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus, Grand Rapids Sweet Adeline’s Chorus, Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus and the Girls Choral Academy.  

A Classic Rock Christmas DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids Dec. 21, 8 p.m. $28.50–$38.50 Start a new holiday tradition with this rock ‘n’ rollinfused event. Combining classic rock music with

Christmas hits, A Classic Rock Christmas showcases December People, musicians coming together from bands like Boston, The Sammy Hagar Band and The Tubes. One dollar from each ticket goes to the Heart of West Michigan United Way 2-1-1 Program, which offers Kent County residents assistance in locating food, housing, utilities and other services.

Grand Rapids Symphony presents Cirque de Noel DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Dec. 22-23, 7:30 p.m. $32, Join the Grand Rapids Symphony for another holiday season by attending this display of musical and physical artistry. Enjoy the talents of Cirque de la Symphonie — aerialists, contortionists, acrobats and so on — synced with seasonal holiday and classic favorites performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Traditional Holiday & Tree Lighting Celebration City Centre & Celery Flats Historic Area 7900 S Westnedge, Portage Dec. 7, 7 p.m. FREE!, For those in search of holiday lights, caroling and tasty treats, this wintry Portage tradition is likely the place to be. The annual event starts at the City Centre, near the Portage District Library. The gala then follows a horse-drawn wagon, complete with jingle bells and carolers, on a short walk down the Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail to the Celery Flats Historical Area, where the holiday celebration takes place. And, yes, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there greeting visitors at the historic schoolhouse. Hot cider and hot cocoa are available for $1. Proceeds from the sales will benefit area charities.

Winter Holiday Festival The Olde World Village 13215 M 96, Augusta Dec. 5-6, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Santa Worshippers

You Better Watch Out, Santa Clauses Are Coming to Town |  Eric Mitts

Get transported back in time at this Dickens-themed holiday event. The old-timey Christmas vibe is amped up with carolers, stage shows and maybe some snow activities. There will also be plenty of food and arts and crafts vendors. Era-appropriate attire is encouraged, so grab your top hat and break out your best 1800s gear. Who needs the mall?

holland Holiday Kerstmarkt Eighth Street Marketplace 150 West Eighth Street, Holland Dec. 4–5, 11–12 Kerstmarkt is a Dutch word meaning “Christmas Market.” This European-style, open-air market is back in Holland, bringing the Netherlands to the Tulip City. Find your Christmas tree, unique handcrafted gifts, authentic Dutch treats and remarkable imported gifts, such as handmade clothing, toys, ornaments and art.

muskegon America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Dec. 3–5, 7 p.m. $15,

Compiled by Mayra Monroy

SantaCon The costumes are flexible, too. The non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and nonsensical event only asks attendees to dress up as anything holiday-related: From Santa and Mrs. Claus to Hanukkah Harry, a Dreidel, a snowman and more. “Personally, I think you should make your own costume. The more creative the better,” Zastrow said. “One of the best low-budget, last-minute Santa costumes was ‘Hillbilly Santa.’ His beard was just a plastic Meijer shopping bag.” Other past costumes include Hipster Santa, Speed Metal Santa, Yukon Cornelius and other non-Santas such as Jewish Elves, Christmas gifts and toy soldiers. As for why Zastrow is drawn to the Santa game – it’s what he was born to do. “I was born a few days before Christmas and my name is Nicholas. It feels like it is in my blood,” Zastrow said. “I won’t go as far as saying I’m Saint Nicholas, but it sure feels that way when I’m delivering an entire car full of backpacks to those in need.” Zastrow co-founded the event with his friends Brett Jones and Chris Bodnar in 2008 after Jones had moved to Kalamazoo from New York. “He was a regular at SantaCons there and thought he’d spread some Santarchy here,” Zastrow said.

Photo: Patrick Hershberge

After Jones left Kalamazoo in 2012, Zastrow has been running the event with a small crew of helper elves. The first ever SantaCon took place in San Francisco in 1994 and was sponsored by The San Francisco Cacophony Society. Zastrow said the first Kalamazoo SantaCon drew only six Santas in 2008. Since then, it’s grown rapidly: 75 in 2009, 200 in 2010, and more than 350 in 2013. “If our previous growth is any indication, we should have over 450 people with us this year,” he said. As for next year, Zastrow said it could grow into a larger event if the support is there. “We are hoping this year will really get the city of Kalamazoo’s attention,” Zastrow said. “We’d like to partner with the city to turn this into an entire day-long community event with family friendly activities and partnerships throughout the day.” n

SantaCon Kalamazoo

Downtown Kalamazoo (starting at the Kalamazoo Mall by the giant Santa) Dec. 12, 6 p.m.–2 a.m. Cost varies by venue, cash donations also strongly encouraged for selected charity 21+ (for most venues)

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Celebrating 31 years of Christmas tradition, the Mona Shores High School Choir – backed by the school’s orchestra – ushers in the holiday spirit with its classic show, drawing more than 5,000 people each year. The Singing Tree stacks members of the choir in a beautiful arrangement of Christmas-tree lights and cheer. More than 200 volunteers decorate the colossal 67-foot-tall tree and top off the production with shrubbery imported from Germany. n


ou may not believe in Santa Claus, but what about bar-hopping Santa Clauses? Now in its eighth year, SantaCon Kalamazoo aims to spread holly-jolly merrymaking across the streets of downtown for one night a year — as well as to give something back to those in need, just like good old Kris Kringle would. SantaCon is a mass gathering of people dressed in Santa Claus and other, more abstract, holiday-related costumes. The costumed gang parades publicly on the streets and inside the bars, spreading cheer and goodwill across Kalamazoo. Last year SantaCon organizers were able to donate 50 fully stocked winter survival backpacks to Ministry with Community. This year they plan to raise at least $1,000 for Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK). Destinations for SantaCon include Harvey’s on the Mall, Tibbs Brewing Co., Old Dog Tavern, Louie’s Trophy House and Arcadia Brewing Co., among others. As for what watering holes have in store, it depends on the location. Old Dog Tavern hosts live music from Duffield Caron (5–8 p.m.) and The Real Fantastics headline at 9 p.m. Old Dog also hosts “Best Santa” competitions, a Santa photo booth and unveils some festive Christmasinspired cocktails, food and beers. “We are in talks with all the local breweries to have them release special SantaCon beers for the week or two leading up to SantaCon,”said SantaCon Chief Executive Santa Nicholas Zastrow. He also said they’ve already received one commitment for a juniper flavored beer from Territorial Brewing Company and expect to receive more as they get closer to the holidays. But the event is much more than a Santa-stacked bar crawl. It has a “naughty or nice” list of guidelines encouraging attendees to address everyone in costume as “Santa,” give small gifts to all children, as well as naughty gifts, including coal, for adults.


/// holidays

Where to Donate

How to Help Those in Need this Holiday Season |  by Jacqueline Bull

No matter where you live in West Michigan, there are local and national charities looking for people to get involved — or even just open their wallets. These do-gooders often seek some combination of donations of money, toys, food, supplies and/or time — do you have any of those? If so, here are just a few ways to bring some cheer to those in need.

achieve a stable and prosperous life.” This organization offers a full range of assistance to struggling families, including: Food and personal care items, education and foreclosure prevention. Community Action House has a variety of ways to get involved, from volunteering opportunities to employer matching gift programs. Visit its website and click “donate” to make a PayPal contribution.

Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth 235 Straight Ave. NW Grand Rapids, (616) 233.9370 Money, Time, Supplies

Toys for Tots, (616) 322-8322 Money, Toys

The Boys and Girls Club, at a few different locations, focuses its efforts on young people by providing fun and enriching community experiences. It also provides meals and snacks to the children as well as tutoring for school. The club’s after school programs are also seeking donations of art supplies, board games, school supplies and gifts for camp. Put that mouse on the “Donate Now” or “Volunteer” tab to get involved.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve founded Toys for Tots in 1947 and has since helped countless families celebrate Christmas. The organization has drop-off sites all over the United States and collects from October to mid-December. People can donate new, unwrapped toys — which are collected and distributed to local children. Visit and click “Toy Drop-Offs” to find the donation bins nearest you.

Family Promise of Grand Rapids 516 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 475-5220 Money, Time, Supplies

God’s Kitchen Meal Program

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

303 Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 456-1443 Time

Catholic Charities’ God’s Kitchen program is seeking volunteers to help serve meals from Dec. 24-Jan. 2. Bring the kids, too — volunteers as young as 11 can get involved if they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian. This type of event brings volunteers face to face with the people they are helping.

Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank 864 West River Center Dr., Comstock Park, (616) 784-3250 Food, Money, Time

Food banks provide sustenance year round. This food bank provides meals for an estimated 492,100 individuals each year in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. According to its website, every dollar donated can provide four meals. The bank distributes food to other anti-hunger groups as well as its own mobile pantries. Click the “donate” tab on their site to contribute nutritious meals to struggling families.

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Toys for Tots

Volunteers of America: Adopt A Family, (248) 353-4962

Adopt a Family has served Michigan since 1993, connecting people that want to sponsor the elderly or families with children. Last year it served over 9,000 unique individuals. Sponsors connect with one family and provide gifts of toys, clothes and a holiday meal. For those not able to do a direct adopt, the organization also accepts cash donations.

Family Promise of Grand Rapids works with homeless families and at-risk families to help them with housing assistance and other services to provide security. It guides families through the process of finding new housing or support to stay in their housing. In addition to monetary donations and volunteers, this organization is seeking necessities like clothes, cleaning supplies, housewares and toiletries.

Access of West Michigan’s Holiday Giving Network

Community Action House

1700 28th St.SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 774-2175 Money, Food, Time

According to Community Action House’s mission statement, it seeks “[To] provide area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to build necessary skills to

Access of West Michigan’s Holiday Giving Network “matches individuals or groups directly to Kent County families who are in need of holiday food.” In 2014, over 7,000 families signed on to accept a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. You can provide dinner items directly to your matched family, give grocery gift cards or money, or hold your own food drive and donate the goods. n

345 W 14th St., Holland, (616) 392-2368 Food, Money, Time



December 12, 2015–February 29, 2016 All locations Sign up and set your own goal or take the snowflake challenge. Win prizes. Great for the whole family!

Music in the Stacks: Tokyo Morose Thursday, December 17 7:00 pm Main Library Have a musical interlude in the library! As you browse the collection, enjoy a performance by Tokyo Morose. Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



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/// Local Music

Fine Fine Titans open for The Plot In You Dec. 9 at The Stache

Heavy Homecoming

Fine Fine Titans Return With New LP


beyond with Still Remains,” Jenn Bartlett said. “Watching them persevere has had a strong impact on us. Over time, we’ve become friends and it’s been a blessing just having a great influence to commiserate and celebrate with.” Working with Miller rekindled the band to the local scene’s strongest days: The early 2000s, back when all-ages venues like Skeletones and The DAAC united fans and bands alike. Jenn Bartlett said that boisterous scene has cooled off over the last five years. “I’m not totally sure what Grand Rapids needs in order to rekindle its love for heavy music,” she said. “Maybe it’s not just a regional thing. Maybe it’s throughout the Midwest, or in most of the U.S. I try to focus less on what the scene has to offer me and more of what I can do for the scene. What’s important to me is transparency and connection. Music doesn’t need people, people need music.” While they may not have the entire metal scene figured out, the husband/wife combo certainly has the married life pegged down. “Jenn and I got married. [Then] she forced me to join a band with her,” he said jokingly. “Until band-death do us part,” she added. Kidding aside, the couple’s relationship is the heart of the band. It’s what’s kept it going as they’ve relocated from Kalamazoo to Metro Detroit and finally to Grand Rapids.

“The band is like any dysfunctional family — when it’s bad, it can get ugly,” Jenn Bartlett said. “But when it’s good, it’s elation. Having [a romantic] relationship involved in the music can double [things] up but we knew what we were signing up for.” The new record is a follow up to two dynamite EPs: 2012’s Arms, and 2014’s Omega. Since those days the band has seen some serious lineup changes, including the departure of original guitarist Dustin Posthuma. The Bartletts quickly enlisted guitarist Brit Herron and recorded Renaissance. Drummer Nathan Jean is the latest addition. “The fire that Nathan lit under all of us was incredibly helpful and instilled a new hope in the band,” Jenn Bartlett said. “I can’t say that we’ve ever felt more like a complete package. We’re thankful to be back on track and stronger than ever.” n

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

e t e r m i n e d to r e i g n ite th e spark of West M i c h i g a n ’ s o n c e highvolume heavy music scene, Grand Rapids’ Fine Fine Titans have returned with Renaissance, its first full-length album. Rising from the ashes of the band’s combustible past, the new album — released last month at The Pyramid Scheme — stands as a new beginning for the post-hardcore band. The group has endured a lot of commotion since its 2010 genesis. But if band turmoil is good for one thing, it’s fodder and stimulus for the next record. The immensely personal Renaissance LP confronts many of the band’s issues head on, while reexamining what it means to be heavy. “It’s a little less aggressive, but feels much more emotionally heavy,” said bassist Evan Bartlett, who’s also husband to the band’s lead vocalist, Jenn Bartlett. “Everything from the tones, melodies and the effects seem to carry so much weight.” On one of the album’s heaviest songs, the Fine Fine Titans brought a recognizable face in the Grand Rapids’ hardcore scene. Still Remains’ frontman TJ Miller joined them on “I Just Saw A Ghost.” “Without a doubt, TJ has had a strong presence in the Grand Rapids music scene and

The Plot In You wsg Fine Fine Titans

Also: My Ticket Home, Drifter, My Enemies & I, Blisshead The Stache at The Intersection Dec. 9, 6 p.m. 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids $12, $10 adv. /

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// local music

Year in Rock

Revue Music Writer Picks His Top Local Albums of 2015 |  by Eric Mitts The Go Rounds, Don’t Go Not Changin’


The 16th Annual

BUBBLE BASH December 17 | 6PM H.O.M.E. inside The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave NW made possible by Denison Financial The Gilmore Collection

The Go Rounds never tread the same musical path twice, even after five years of rock ‘n’roll under their belts. With strong ties to both beloved Michigan-roots label Earthwork Music and Kalamazoo’s own legendary Double Phelix collective, the band makes music that simply brings people together. Naturally the Don’t Go Not Changin’ LP is a heady, outright groovy record. It’s stocked with their most danceable rhythms yet, while showcasing the spellbinding power of singer/songwriter Graham Parsons, who continues to lead his band — and listeners — on one unexpected sonic adventure after another. Can’t wait to see what this Kalamazoo-based outfit will do next.

The Crane Wives, Coyote Stories

Five years into their career, The Crane Wives have leapt in with both feet on Coyote Stories, an ambitious and deeply personal release. The indie-folk outfit has turned a successful Pledgemusic campaign into something that will stand the test of time — and should help catapult them onto even bigger stages, like the one they shared with The Avett Brothers at ArtPrize this fall. For those of you already wanting new material, this LP is the first of two volumes — a forthcoming companion release scheduled for early 2016.

Vox Vidorra, Promise Land

Grand Rapids’ most unique sound got the perfect treatment on this beautifully-recorded LP. Lush, soulful and surprisingly fun, the Promise Land LP shows off Vox Vidorra’s serious chops without sacrificing the heart and vibrancy that beats through every track. Fronted by virtuosic vocalist Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, the band has made a huge splash in just two short years and if this full-length is any indication, they could change the very landscape of music in West Michigan for years to come.

The Fever Haze, Dear Fate

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Non-Commercial. Volunteer Powered. Listener Sponsored.

20 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

This prolific rock band from Holland has released two LPs since starting in 2012 and has upped the energy with each one. A churning, yearning mix of punk and folk, The Fever Haze make more than enough noise to put their hometown on the musical map. Yet it’s the high-wire tension they string across their sophomore album’s nine tracks that keeps it compelling. Dear Fate drifts between the stuff of dreams and nightmares are made of — without succumbing to the gravity of it all.

Lady Ace Boogie, Feel Good Music

Since 1987

One of the most gifted emcees in West Michigan’s sadly underappreciated hip-hop scene, Lady Ace Boogie got the year started on a very positive note when she released her solo debut back in January. A party-starting classic in the making, Feel Good Music is the latest from the veteran rapper (who had previously worked with the Midwest group OhMi in the 2000s) and just one of the dope releases from Hot Capicola Records, a busy Grand Rapids-based label. n


Is your music

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REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// On tour

Staying Sharp

The Sword Heavily Evolves With ‘High Country’ LP |  by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


h e Swo r d g u itar i st K y l e S h u t t v i v i d ly remembers the first time the Austin-based doom group played here in Grand Rapids. The heavy-as-hell band had just released its 2006 debut LP, Age of Winters, and was playing for a packed house at the legendary Jukes Bar when a fan in the front split his hand open on the stage, spewing blood everywhere. “It was a hallmark of live shows,” Shutt told Revue. “It was like, ‘Wow, how are we going to top that one?’” About as metal as it gets, that blooddrenched evening proved to be only the beginning for The Sword, who quickly ascended into metal music’s esteemed echelon. Initially signed based on the recommendation of Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton, its ‘70s-inspired sound drew early comparisons to icons like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Soon after, its song “Freya” became a fan favorite on Guitar Hero II and soon after Metallica handpicked them to open their 2008-09 world tour. Since then, The Sword has played close to a thousand shows and cranked out three more albums: 2008’s Gods of Earth, 2010’s Warp Riders and 2012’s Apocryphon. This past summer the band released its fifth studio LP, High Country, which many critics praised for its shift in musical direction. “I never really felt we were going in one particular direction before,” Shutt said, commenting on those who’ve said the band has switched from playing doom metal to a more conventional form of classic hard rock. “We’re just dudes that jam and the more songs we write the more diverse our catalog gets.” Nearly burnt out on playing live after spending five years on the road, the band took almost a year off to reassemble their home lives before finishing High Country. “When we started the Warp Riders tour I was 27 years old and at the end of the

22 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

“There were only a few heavy bands like us in Austin before we started playing and Texas itself was just all nu-metal. We wiped the state clean of that shit.” Apocryphon cycle I was 31 and I needed to take some time to reflect on everything that we’d done,” Shutt said. “I think that really came through in the music that we started to write. We were literally different people than we were when we started this band when I was 20.” Returning to Austin after so much time away from the city made for even more culture shock as the thriving area had undergone a dramatic change of its own. “Austin is just a different place from what it used to be,” Shutt said. “All the old build-

The Sword plays Dec. 11 at The Pyramid Scheme.

ings have been bulldozed and it’s literally a different looking and feeling city than when I moved there when I was 17. I feel like I just don’t even belong there anymore. I tried to reconnect with it, but it just wasn’t having me.” While in Austin, Shutt and the rest of the band did reconnect with long-time friend and producer Adrian Quesada, formerly of Grammy-award-winning Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma – who are perhaps bestknown for backing Prince on a few occasions. “There were only a few heavy bands like us in Austin before we started playing and Texas itself was just all nu-metal,” Shutt said. “We wiped the state clean of that shit … Now I’m not saying we’re the best band in the world in that regard, but we definitely gave Texas a kick in the ass and Grupo [Fantasma] did the same thing.” Working with Quesada on High Country, The Sword wanted to explore the depth of

its sound and they found just that by losing the Low C tuning they’d leaned on so much before, letting loose their inner stoner-rock instincts and embracing Quesada’s suggestion that they even bring in some horns. “We just didn’t want to write another f***ing Sword album,” Shutt said. “We wanted to bust that door down and see what was on the other side.” On the road, the band members will switch guitars onstage to play some of their older songs in their original tuning, but don’t be surprised to hear some past tracks played in a completely new way. “Some of the songs we honestly think sound better in E flat,” Shutt said. “If anybody has any complaints about ‘Freya’ being played in E flat than they can just deal with it, because we’ve played that song a jillion times live. In a way it’s like a fresh perspective on it and it makes it exciting for us to play it again... What I want people to take away from The Sword is there are no rules.” n

The Sword wsg

Royal Thunder

The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids Dec. 11, 8 p.m. $20, 21+, (616) 272-3758

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x 4 REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// album reviews

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree! Holiday Album Reviews |  by Mark Deming

One of the best and worst things about the holiday season is Christmas music. While there are plenty of great Yuletide tunes that make you tap your toes and pull at the heartstrings, there are a lot of folks who have no desire to waste another minute listening to holiday dreck from Kenny G, Mannheim Steamroller or Mariah Carey. So if you want to add some new flavors to your Christmas mix, consider these albums and put a fresher twist on the songs of the season.

For the funky …

For the dour hipster …

For the cynical …

For the power-pop addict …

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings


Various Artists

The dB’s & Friends

The brilliant Minnesota slowcore band Low cut this EP in 1999 and it’s still one of the most original and haunting holiday releases ever. While “Just Like Christmas” and “Little Drummer Boy” are (relatively) sweet and accessible, “If You Were Born Today (Song for Little Baby Jesus)” is a quiet but devastating meditation on the purpose of Christmas. “Blue Christmas” may be the most beautifully melancholy recording to date of that old chestnut.

For those who are depressed, grumpy, or just not feeling it in the month of December, this is just what you need, a collection of tunes that says “Bah Humbug!” in a dozen different ways. High points include the Everly Brothers’ “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” (the perils of hitch-hiking on Dec. 24), the Sonics’ “Don’t Believe in Christmas” (‘Cause I didn’t get nothin’ last year!), Johnny & John’s “Christmas in Vietnam” (the celebration is interrupted by a rifle attack) and the Youngsters’ “Christmas in Jail” (which would make a great “don’t drink and drive” PSA).

In 1986, Chris Stamey and the dB’s released a hip holiday EP for fans of hooky new wave and power pop, Christmas Time. This year, the dB’s have gifted us with an expanded, fulllength version of the collection that boasts a stellar roster of cult favorites, including Yo La Tengo & Jeff Tweedy, Marshall Crenshaw, Alex Chilton, Robyn Hitchcock, Don Dixon, Thad Cockrell, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Whiskeytown (featuring Taylor Swift’s new BFF, Ryan Adams). Even if you have the 2006 reissue of Christmas Time Again!, this version adds six new tracks, making it a great gift for your friend who’s always spinning Radio City and Repercussions. n

Christmas (Chair Kickers Union)

It’s a Holiday Soul Party (Daptone)

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

The best and toughest of the current crop of soul revival acts, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings put their own spin on the Christmas season with this new set of holiday jams. It’s a Holiday Soul Party mixes up holiday favorites like “Silver Bells” and “White Christmas” with hard-grooving re-workings of seasonal classics, such as “Funky Little Drummer Boy” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gents.” But the originals take the prize here, as the band ponders a lingering mystery with “Ain’t No Christmas in the Projects” and gives props to the Festival of Lights with “8 Days (Of Hanukkah).” Jones puts plenty of soul swagger on these tunes and the Dap-Tones give the music a stellar, sinewy groove. If this doesn’t make the Egg Nog go down easier, nothing will.

St. Cecilia Music Center



24 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

ANAT COHEN Clarinetist of the Year for 8 years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association

Bummed Out Christmas! (Rhino)

Christmas Time Again! (Omnivore)


sPECIALs & EvENTs MONDAYs $1 Chili Dogs and $1 Beers Free show with Desmond Jones

TUEsDAYs Comedy Tuesday



No cover!

WEDNEsDAYs Dennie Middleton Happy Hour,

5:30-8:30, Open Mic Night Hosted by sam Kenny No cover!

THURsDAYs #Whatchusaay Thursday Hosted by DJ Dean Martian | 9pm

Open Hours


Happy Hour

MON-FRI 3-7PM $2 DOMEsTICs, $2 WELLs, $3 CALLs, $1.50 RETROs

760 BUTTERWORTH sW GRAND RAPIDs, MI 616.272.3910

12/2 12/4 12/5 12/11 12/18 12/19 12/26 12/31 1/1 1/2 1/8


The Yawpers wsg All Night Tigers Lazy Lester The Madeira + The Moonrays The Twistin Tarantulas ALBUM Release Party wsg The Lazy Hands the MaCHinEs Tom Hymn & the Early Magic Band + Fiona Dickinson + Moberg The Christmas Jam: A Benefit for Habitat for Humanity All That Glitters NYE Party! Part Time Warriorz Nick Moss Elvis & Bowie Birthday Bash featuring Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys and The Ghost Bunnies Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater

Thurs. December 3


May Erlewine

Seated Show

Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8:30 pm

Sat. December 5

Flint Eastwood

$10 adv / $12 day of

wsg Night Riots, Valley Hush Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs. December 10


The Moxie Strings

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri. December 11

Luke Winslow-King & the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey Doors 8

$10 pm

— Show 9pm

Thurs. December 17 $10 adv / $12 day of

Strange Arrangement wsg PEMG

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri. December 18

$10 adv / $12 day of

wsg Kaitlin Rose Band, Adam Doleac, Zach Dubois

Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8pm

Kris Hitchcock Album Release

great food

live music




TUE-WED 11 -10 T H U R - F R I 1 1 AM- 1 1 PM S A T 5 PM- 1 1 PM & S U N 1 1 AM- 4 PM AM


12/3 Ralston Bowles and Friends 12/5 Kathy Lamar Quartet 12/10 Nobody’s Darlin’ (Farewell Show) 12/12 Organissimo 12/17 No Music 12/18 & 12/19 Lazy Blue Tunas Christmas Show 12/24 & 12/26 No Music

136 East Fulton, Grand rapids | 616.235.7669 | onetrick.BIZ

Sat. December 19

The Corn Fed Girls Christmas Spectacular wsg Guitar Up! Surf Band

Sat. December 26

Henhouse Prowlers


Doors 8pm — Show 9pm


wsg Thunderbolt & Lightfoot Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs. December 31


Feat. Kansas Bible Company, The Go Rounds, Vox Vidorra

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Bell’s NYE Party

Fri. January 29

Small Brown Bike

wsg Bonehawk, The Reptilian

$15 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule




/// playlist

Songs We Like Vol. 5 by Pete Bruinsma, WYCE Music Director

Pete’s nuances, observations and quips: BØRNS – “Dopamine”

Hugh Masekela – “Lady” This is not a misprint, Hugh Masekela is in fact Performing at the MSU Wharton Center with Larry Willis on Dec. 1. The two living legends met at the Manhattan School of Music some 50 years ago and are performing in a limited capacity this year. Here’s a live version of Masekela performing Fela Kuti’s “Lady,” recorded in the early 1990s.

Jason Isbell – “The Life You Chose”

Kamasi Washington – “Cherokee”

John Grant – “Voodoo Doll”

AllMusic Guide calls the Michigan native’s latest release Grey Tickles, Black Pressure “some of his angriest, saddest and funniest music yet.” This song finishes off with the rare lyrical shout out to Michigan: “I made a voodoo


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

doll out of you, I didn’t know what else to do. I know you don’t get out that much, so I took it on a trip to Kalamazoo.”

Grand Haven native Garrett Borns transitioned from adorable banjo wielding Kendall student to international dream pop star in a matter of moments. Our lead track this month is the latest single from his Fall 2015 release that’s topping charts and garnering critical acclaim. Our last chance to catch him in Michigan is at Shelter in Detroit on Dec. 16 before he heads to Australia and Europe.

Featured here is a heart-wrenching piece of songwriting handiwork that looks a typical love ballad square in the eyes and says “bad decision.” Isbell sucks you into this hard-to-hear fictitious tale that smarts with truth. It will equally mire you in tears of sorrow and reticent laughter.

Maker, prep us with this rootsy, slow-burning departure embroidered with finger-picked acoustic and slide guitars. They plays Founders Taproom, Dec. 17.

The Sword – “Empty Temples”

Austin, Texas’ own The Sword shall be wielded by the Pyramid Scheme on Dec. 11. Come see for yourself why they’re noted kings of stoner/doom metal.

Dead Weather – “I Feel Love (Every Million

Miles)” Jack White and company come back after a two-year break with a highly-anticipated new album that satisfies fans of anything from Sonic’s Rendezvous Band to the Heartless Bastards. This is rock ‘n’ roll at its finest. n

Modern-day Coltrane Kamasi Washington released his 172-minute debut album Epic earlier this year, easily the best-respected jazz debut of 2015. This cover of “Cherokee” is anything but standard, a soul-groove rendition of the classic song.

Sam Amidon – “Pat Do This, Pat Do That,” and San Fermin – “No Devil”

This mash-up of two amazing, talented yet stylistically different artists is going to be a tough show to miss. To demonstrate, this is a WYCE-favorite of Sam Amidon’s and

JAN 31


26 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

This monthly playlist is a collaboration between Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. You can hear this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes and stream it on and — from Grand Rapids to the world! Also, some of these bands are headed to Michigan this month, check out the show info.


Other tracks: the new single from San Fermin. They will both perform at Founders Taproom Dec. 10.

All Them Witches – “Call Me Star”

David Wax Museum – “Guesthouse” Basia Bulat – “Infamous” El VY – “Return to the Moon” Neon Indian – “Annie”

Nashville’s talented neo-psychedelic ambassadors, riding the waves of their new release Dying Surfer Meets His

WSG: Secret Someones

FEB 14


dec 4 - $18

BILLY STRINGS & DON JULIN dec 13 - $30 Billy strings & don julin


roosevelt diggs


SETH GLIER dec 31 - $150


jan 1 - $30


tony lucca

Seven StepS up Live MuSic & event venue: 116 S JackSon St., Spring Lake, Mi 49456 pindropconcertS.coM | (616) 930-4755

for a full schedule, visit REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule




a steak that’s served

gift is the perfect


Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

28 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015



W e s t

M i c h i g a n

Holiday Gift Guide

W Fitness Freak: Page 44

ith the materialistic temptations of door-buster deals at big-box chain stores and the gluttonous convenience of online commerce — Christmas shopping has grown into a merry-less, bleak routine. Sometimes we forget about supporting the local West Michigan shops and boutiques that give our communities charisma. Revue’s annual Holiday Gift Guide highlights those eccentric specialty stores. Beyond that, we suggest some stellar local events and food/drink hotspots to enjoy throughout the holidays. For your retail convenience, Revue arranged the Gift Guide recommendations by various personality types. From a Debbie Downer-caliber “Buzzkill” to a Nikon-wielding “Photography Dad,” this section covers each character on your shopping list. Well, except for that one creepy uncle … we’re not sure about him.

Local gift ideas for your favorite… Activist. . . . . . . . . . . . . Art Aficionado . . . . . . Beer Snob. . . . . . . . . . Bookworm. . . . . . . . . . Buzzkill . . . . . . . . . . . . Fashionista . . . . . . . . . Film Buff . . . . . . . . . . . Fitness Freak. . . . . . . . Foodie. . . . . . . . . . . . . Fossil. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34 32 30 36 38 42 40 44 46 48

Gamer. . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 GOP Candidate . . . . . . 52 Music Junkie. . . . . . . . 54 Naturalist . . . . . . . . . . 56 Photography Dad . . . . 58 Pop Culture Nerd. . . . . 60 Soccer Mom. . . . . . . . . 62 Thespian. . . . . . . . . . . 64 Even more gift ideas! . 66

I l l u s t r at e d b y A n t h o n y c a r p e n t e r REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// Gift


Beer Snob

The Beer Snob has become the superlative connoisseur of the 21st century. Craft beer is at an exciting apex of popularity and the Beer Snob is at the center of it all, guiding the journey toward vibrant tastes — all while catching a warm buzz. B y M i c h a e l C o l e t ta

The Beer Snob has two needs: To enjoy and appreciate the work of others and to fine-tune his own personal craft of beer making. Siciliano’s Market is the perfect stop to facilitate both. Here you can obtain that sought-after limited release while gathering the essential supplies to brew your own mashed masterpiece.


Siciliano’s Market 2840 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 453-9674

Winter does not slow down the Beer Snob. Proof is the always-sold-out Winter Beer Festival, for which tickets go on sale Dec. 3. Now in its 11th year, it features more than 100 Michigan breweries and around 1,000 unique beers. While sipping, the Beer Snob can also take in fine local bands and sample tasty food. Friday’s session is $45 in advance, $50 at gate if available. Saturday’s session is $50 in advance.


Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Michigan Brewers’ Guild 11th Annual Winter Beer Festival Fifth Third Ball Park, Comstock Park Feb. 26-27

To maximize your full beer nerd potential, it is imperative that you turn to the best beer stores in West Michigan. The reason why the Beer Snob is always re-invited to white elephant gift exchanges is because no one minds being stuck with a super rare four pack of Michigan craft beer. Rishi’s International Beverage is among the best spots to make it possible. Ask the man himself for beer advice or the perfect adult beverage. You don’t just receive a Right Brain tribute beer for nothing, after all.


30 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

Rishi’s International Beverage 3835 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 842-7240

The Beer Snob will ultimately want to develop an affinity for pairing their favorite brews with dishes that heighten the palate. Whether it’s matching your favorite hoppy IPA with Atlantic salmon or a robust stout with a slab of smoky ribs, the best way to achieve this is through creative menus and locally sourced fare. North Peak Brewing Company and Salt of the Earth continue to demonstrate their commitment to top-tier craft beer and exceptional cuisine.


North Peak Brewing Company 400 W. Front St., Traverse City, (231) 941-7325 Salt of the Earth 114 East Main Street, Fennville, (269) 561-7258

When a movie has a slogan like “DRINK BETTER BEER,” you know it’s at least worth a peek. CRAFT filmmaker Craig Noble gives cinephile Beer Snobs a behind-the-scenes look at how craft-beer trailblazers, rogues and misfits have bested the big beer companies. This beertastic voyage to the front lines of the booming Craft Beer Revolution spans from coast to coast chatting with independent craft brewers who insist on raising the beer bar. The film is backed with an impressive horn-heavy soundtrack courtesy of Slavic Soul Party, a nine-piece “Balkansoulgypsyfunk” brass band based out of Brooklyn.



REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// Gift


Art Afici0nado

The Art Aficionado dreams of an endless block of contemporary galleries harmonizing next to art-film theaters that endlessly stream Jean-Luc Godard flicks. Skip the bars when it comes to this persnickety pal and check out these arty events and shopping options. By Nicole Rico

The 27th Annual UICA Holiday Artists’ Market is a great place to find one-of-akind gifts for the Art Aficionado in your life. Featuring crafted work from dozens of regional artists, the event also includes live music, food and drinks from local vendors. You can find everything here from jewelry and toys, to fine art and home goods. An added perk, admission and parking are free for this event, so you’ll have even extra cash to also buy that pricey Jean-Michel Basquiat coffee-table book.

gene Friesen and Crispin Campbell (Dec. 6), pianist Andrew Le and violinist Jennifer Walvoord (Dec. 13), cellist and pianist Hannah Thomas-Hollands (Dec. 20 ) , and R ichard and Brandon Ridenour (Dec. 27), playing piano and trumpet. Seating is first come, first served.


UICA’S Holiday Artists’ Market @ Steelcase Town Hall 901 44th St. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 4, UICA Members’ Preview: 5:30-6 p.m., Public: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5, Public: 10 a.m.–7 p.m., (616) 454-7000

Sunday Classical Concert Series Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Ctr. St. NW Dec. 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2-3 p.m., (616) 831-1000

Those mainstream movie theatres just won’t do. I mean, who’s Paul Blart? Skip the Hollywood blockbuster night and take your Art Aficionado to the Broad Art Museum’s monthly Underground Film Series examining experimental and avant-garde films, as well as video art, from its earliest days to present times. This month’s theme is Feminist Looking and it explores the work of Martha Rosler, Ilene Segalove and Leslie Thornton. The accompanying exhibit is Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965-2015. It runs through Feb. 14 and features: Nam June Paik, Marina Abramovic, Michelle Handelman, Andy Warhol, Joan Jonas, and the always captivating work of Sam Jury.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Broad Underground Film Series Broad Art Museum 547 E Circle Dr., East Lansing Dec. 4, 7 p.m. @ New Media Gallery, (517) 884-4800

The Aficionado’s taste is refined. Gambling on a contemporary musical act is risky. It’s best to play it safe and snag passes to the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Sunday Classical Concert Series. This month includes cellists Eu-


32 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

For the art addict in your life who salivates at Wayne Thiebaud’s food-themed paintings but prefers more of a plantbased menu, there’s a local option worth exploring. Bartertown fulfills the meticulous Art Aficionado’s vegan, vegetarian and raw food needs in a modish setting. The menu is stacked with locally-sourced produce – this includes locally-made direct-trade coffee, kombucha and soda. Also, their breakfast options, specifically the French toast, are addicting.


Bartertown Diner 6 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 233-3219

Enjoy a Degas painting in motion and take your Aficionado to this re-imag ined version of The Nutcracker. The production is bound to inspire new creative depths for your Aficionado with its imaginative set desig n and surrealist moments of a mouse king fighting toy soldiers and an owl morphing into a clockmaker.


Grand Rapids Ballet: The Nutcracker DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 11-13 & 18-20, $20-$54, (616) 454-4771 ext. 10

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$32 REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// Gift



Injustice, be damned! The Activist is primed and ready to do hand-to-hand combat with inequality. B y L i n d s ay Pat t o n - C a r s o n

The Activist loves opportunities to combine multiple causes. At the great Vegan GR Holiday Pop-up, the Activist can support local bakers and animals. All the goodies on sale are vegan-friendly, and there are even a few gluten-free offerings. And because it’s the holidays, the pop-up shop will also host area artisans with work for sale. The Activist may find a gift for Grandma Louise, but they work so hard to make the world a better place that they deserve a little reward every once in a while.


VeganGR Holiday Pop-up Shop West Michigan Co-op, 1475 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids Dec. 5, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

goes the extra mile to provide volunteer help to partner organizations. The Mitten Brewing Company 527 Leonard St. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 608-5612

Grand Rapids hip-hop artist Lady Ace Boogie uses her voice to bring positivity to her genre and particularly influence young adults. Earlier this year, she started the LOVE GR campaign, which fought back at anti-LGBT billboards created by an area group. Her most recent album is the very appropriately titled Feel Good Music.


Lady Ace Boogie Suppor t t he work of the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center and purchase a ticket to this formal fundraiser. Spend an evening dining, drinking and dancing for a good cause. Music will be provided by The Moxie Strings and DJ Disobedience. Attendees will be able to indulge at the savory grilled cheese bar (because let’s be honest, nobody really grows out of grilled cheese) and sip on cocktails hand crafted by Angie Jackson, the Traveling Elixir Fixer. There will also be a silent auction and a ceremony for the REACH Awards.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

34 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015


Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center Winter Gala Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, 314 S Park St., Kalamazoo Jan. 31, 7–11 p.m. $50 advance, $55 at the door, $25 with student I.D., (269) 349-4234

This baseball-themed brewery not only provides a unique beer-and-pizza selection, but gives back to the community. The Mitten fundraises for a different nonprofit organization every month and has raised more than $90,000 for local organizations since it was founded in 2012. The Mitten doesn’t just raise money for community organizations, either. Through its employee volunteer program, Mitten staff


This grocery store and deli is consumerowned and is focused on bringing accessible, healthy, natural and affordable food into the Kalamazoo community. The co-op supports local farms by purchasing local food. The Activist appreciates how little fossil fuel was used to transport the food from farm to co-op. More than a grocery store and deli, the People’s Food Co-op frequently hosts educational community events like cooking classes and speaking engagements.


People’s Food Co-op 507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo, (269) 342-5686

Lizzie Velasquez has a rare syndrome that affects her weight and appearance. As a result, she has been bullied her entire life. Velasquez decided to take action when she saw a video on YouTube that labeled her “the world’s ugliest woman.” A Brave Heart tells her story and what she’s doing to inspire others and tackle bullying head on.


A Brave Heart Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, 2 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids Through Dec. 10 $4 UICA members, $8 nonmembers, (616) 454-7000

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


/// Gift



To the Bookworm, the book is always better than the movie, the library is foreplay and it’s all about two lists: “Books I’ve read” and “Books I want to read.” By M issy B lac k

Life was meant to be wasted lounging in bookstores. Take the day off and head to Bombadil Books, a coop style bookstore offering used and rare books, binding and restoration services and community events and workshops. “We’re a really relaxed used bookstore right downtown,” said co-owner Danielle Alexander. “Come in and sit and browse, do work and hang out.” Over the holidays you can find them participating in the Avenue for the Arts Holiday Gallery and Shop Hop on Dec. 12, from noon-8 p.m.


Bombadil Books 315 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 419-0667

If you don’t have time to read your precious book, a little afternoon nibble on poetr y must suffice. ARTbreak: Poetic Responses to Art with author Hedy Habra is an afternoon where Habra reads from her new collection of poetry, Under Brushstrokes, which is inspired by visual art. Even a quick tryst during the lunch hour can satisfy your word fix, and books are on hand for purchase and autographs.


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo Dec. 8, noon, (269) 349-7775

You know the thing you love about books, that distinct voice that pulls you in and lovingly smothers you between the pages? The Bookworm will find an equally haunting and intriguing voice with The Go Rounds. Hailing from Kalamazoo, the band is inspired by their record collections and the beauty of the Great Lakes State and explores soul music, baroque folk, art rock, country and classic rock ‘n’ roll. The band has a gig on New Year’s Eve, sharing the bill with Kansas Bible Company (from Nashville) and Vox Vidorra.


The Go Rounds Performing at Bell’s Eccentric Café Dec. 31

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Coffee and books. Both take time. Steal a moment for a lavender latte at Ferris Coffee. Made in-house, the lavender syrup can also be added to chai tea. It is believed that lavender calms the mind, eases stress and tension and relaxes the body. With aromatic beverage in hand, our Bookworm can curl up with a bestseller or newspaper, or just people watch with a warm friend. Sip. Turn page. Repeat.


Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. 227 Winter Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-6257

Eating in a bookstore, surrounded by books, is pretty much a Bookworm’s dream. With soups, salads, sandwiches and quiche of the day options, our bibliophile can satisfy two strong hungers at the same time. Put the bookmark in already and try the Orchard Harvest Ham Sandwich, featuring baby Swiss, horseradish honey mustard and thinly sliced apples.


Chapbook Café inside Schuler Books & Music 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 942-2561

There are books and then there are the classics. Visit the world of English country homes and high society marriages with John Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Originally produced at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, this theatrical version of Jane Austen’s novel brings her beloved characters to life in a journey from page to stage.


Pride and Prejudice Fairchild Theater Michigan State University, East Lansing Feb. 19-28, $12-$17, 1-800-WHARTON

SchulerBooks&Music SchulerBooks&Music


Share the Schuler DECEMBER Share the Schuler with a Schuler Books gift card.

33 years as your local, independent bookstore!

with a Schuler Books gift card.

Available now, in-store or online Available now, in-store or online Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.

2660 28th Street SE • (616) 942-2561

January: The Fit Issue

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Use Schuler Books gift cards in Use Schuler Books gift cards in Upcoming issues our store, café, or on our website. our store, café, or on our website. February: The cheap Issue Are you a cheapskate? This one’s for you! We’re bringing back our guide to the best buys, cheap eats and drinks

Revue’s FIT ISSUE will pump you up. Featuring local gyms, yoga studios, healthy food options and everything in between, this issue will inspire you to pick up healthy habits in 2016.

and cheap thrills throughout West Michigan.

To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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The Buzzkill is kryptonite to conversation and plutonium for parties. You don’t know she’s there until everything is dead around you. Keep her busy this holiday season feeling miserable and full of doom, but just keep Buzz Killington far away from you. By Steven Depolo

The American Opinion Bookshop draws Buzzkill like a moth to a flame. Chock full of media and manifestos, it’s like the comment section of MLive come to life. From the sticker on the door “Get U.S. Out of the United Nations!” to books on the evils of public education. Give Buzzkill some light reading like The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments. Just because she is a Buzzkill does not mean she is wrong.


The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, $27.95 American Opinion Bookshop 1369 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids (616) 458-0226

During the lights, cheer and generosity of the holiday season, Buzzkill can only think that the story ends with Baby Jesus nailed to a tree. Buzzkill celebrates with Live Mannequins! in downtown Saint Joseph on Dec. 4. The evening begins with Light Up the Bluff, a massive light display at Lake Bluff Park at 6:30 p.m. Then, Buzzkill visits the Live Mannequins lining St. Joe’s storefronts. Dark, cold and perfectly still, the volunteer mannequins warm the Buzzkill’s heart. “Watch out for Raynaud’s disease,” she murmurs.


Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Live Mannequins! Downtown Saint Joseph Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Free, (269) 985-1111

Individualistic like the Buzzkill, Hannah Rose Graves and the GravesTones is an unharnessed force of light and energy. She oozes soul, blues and rock with spine-tingling passion like how the Buzzkill oozes woebegone melancholia. Buzzkill will be standing in the back row at the Hannah Rose Graves and the GravesTones concert on Dec. 16 at the SpeakEZ Lounge. They probably won’t play her favorite song. She can also catch Hannah Rose on New Year’s Eve at Rockford Brewing Company with Megan Dooley.


Hannah Rose Graves and the GravesTones

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Red and processed meat causes cancer. Dairy — hives and anaphylaxis. Buzzkill studies WebMD like a Talmudic scholar. She prefers to browse the aisles of Nourish Organic Market to help her eat healthily and ethically. When hosting a party, not that anyone will attend, Buzzkill likes to pick up dips like creamy and nutty Punk Rawk Labs Original Nut Milk Cheese ($9.99) and Cultured Coconut Milk by So Delicious ($3.00). Then she opens a couple bags of Brad’s Raw Chips in cheddar ($6.49) and Peas Please Sea Salt by Peeled Snacks. So healthy, Buzzkill will probably die of old age.


Vegan hors d’oeuvres Nourish Organic Market 634 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-3663

Keep your Christmas caroling and tree lightings, because Buzzkill wants to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at the Van Andel Arena. Why waste time strengthening the bonds of family and friendship? She’d rather witness the visual and audible onslaught of TSO, described as a mix of The Who’s Tommy, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Pink Floyd.


Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids Dec. 6, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $36.50-$76.50, (616) 742-6600


950 WEALTHY ST SE SUITE 1A GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49506 616-356-2573




A new look, a new menu, a new restaurant For GranD rapiDS

Carol with area choirs on the first three Fridays in December from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. outside the stunning Welsh Auditorium, on the bank of the Grand River. Following the caroling session, stroll downtown visiting the restaurants and shops trimmed with holiday cheer! Get your joy on!

Friday, December 4: West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus Friday, December 11:  Sweet Adeline's Friday, December 18: Girls Choral Academy with the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus

Located inside the DoubleTree Hotel 616.957.1111 • 4747 28th Street SE REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The first annual Grand Caroling on the steps of the Welsh Auditorium


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film buff

Everyone has that one film-obsessed friend who can carry on entire conversations using only movie quotes and who fires off movie factoids like a walking, talking IMDB page. They use terms like “neo-noir” and watch Czech New Wave films (with director commentary, of course). b y J o s h S pa n n i n g a

For some movie fans, nothing beats the good old days of scrutinizing VHS cover art in the aisles of their local mom-n-pop movie rental store. While such shops are largely a thing of the past, your film buff friend can get a similar high while looking through Captain Bizzaro’s unique collection of obscure VHS, DVDs and movie memorabilia. Or head down to the Corner Record Shop in Grandville where they have an equallyinspiring collection of B movies, cult classics and more on DVD and VHS.


Captain Bizzaro’s Treasure World 442 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids captain bi, ( 616 ) 805-5840 The Corner Record Shop 3562 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville (616) 531-6578

Nothing says Christmastime more than the classic Leg Lamp saga. Yup: A Christmas Story. This year the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents this musical adaptation of the movie, which follows Ralphie as he endures triple-dog dares, pink bunny suits and a dysfunctional family on his journey to get the Christmas present of his dreams.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


A Christmas Story: The Musical Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N Division Ave., Grand Rapids Nov. 20–Dec. 20, (616) 222-6650

Grand Rapids Brewing Company is guaranteed to have plenty of great beer, food and cocktails any night of the week. If you happen to go on a Sunday morning for Brunch, Brews and a Movie though, you’re guaranteed to get an experience that will make your inner film nerd rejoice. On


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Dec. 13 Thriller! Chiller! co-founder Chris Randall discusses 2001: A Space Odyssey with attendees over beers and brunch. After brunch, the party moves to UICA with a 1 p.m. screening of the film. Grand Rapids Brewing Company 1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 458-7000

Denim is a one-man act from Grand Rapids who plays noisy, chilling synthwave jams that would fit perfectly with the bleakest of ‘80s sci-fi thrillers. We suggest starting with White Cross, the 2015 EP filled with songs that are as sexy as the Drive soundtrack and as dark and riveting as any John Carpenter score.



For film buffs, dinner and a movie is not only the perfect date night, it’s a downright magical combination. Luckily for them, the UICA has teamed up with a variety of local restaurants to provide their very own “dinner and a movie” deal. It works like this: have dinner at any participating restaurant (like HopCat, San Chez Bistro or a slew of others), and if you show the bill at UICA on the same day, you’ll get movie tickets at a discounted price ($5 for non-members, $2 for members).


UICA’s Dinner and a Movie Deal 2 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-7000

Train at New Horizons to get Yourself on the Most Wanted List IT: Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, Citrix, Oracle, IBM, HP Security: CISSP, CEH, CHFI, ISC2, ISACA Developer: .NET, Java, JavaScript, C#, Python, Business Professional: PMP, ITIL, COBIT, BA, Lean Six Sigma

Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo 616.574.7500 Lansing 517.318.4005

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Flexible tuition funding options and job placement assistance are available. We accept corporate tuition assistance and training grants for those who qualify. Our classes are available on campus and online for your convenience.

8/17/2015 2:59:29 PM

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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Want to help her photograph and catalog her shoe collection? She’ll pay you in makeup contouring lessons. By M issy B lac k

Our Fashionista dreams of raiding closets. At Rosa’s Closet, you’ll find brands and designers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, BCBG and Free People. Diehard shoppers flock here for “the most amazing luxury consignment,” said Manager Ashlyn Oswalt, who mentions that gift wrapping and pretty bags are available with every purchase.


Rosa’s Closet 2141 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 242-9100

Play stylist and try using creativity via paper instead of clothes. The Dec. 17 Gift Wrap Workshop is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. For $20, guests bring in their most special gifts and give them exceptional treatment with unique handmade toppers, bows and tags — because really, everyone and everything should dress well.


Gift Wrap Workshop at 6.25 Paper Studio 40 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 17, $20, (616) 690-5598

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Featuring classic Mexican and Central American dishes, Luna GR speaks to the Fashionista’s sense of style and color with That Pink Drink — a mix of mezcal, ginger, orange, Jamaica tea, grapefruit and lime. It’s perfect for when you want to match your drink to your dress, shoes or necklace.


Luna GR 64 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 288-6340

It’s not enough to be a DJ and hip hop artist. Nope. Adrian “A.B.” Butler is also a style entrepreneur churning out hits and a widely popular T-shirt, tank and hoodie line. And this catches both the fashionista’s ear and eye. Catch an AB & Coconut Brown show at Founder’s Dec. 12. Expect a seven-piece live hip hop/soul/electrofunk band and AB demands that you “dance and go crazy.”


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Adrian “A.B.” Butler/ AB & Coconut Brown

Looking at the macaron selection here is like looking at an eyeshadow palette. Purples, light blues and creamy apricot shades entice. “The colors are beautiful to photograph, plus macarons are in vogue right now,” said owner Kelly Toland. With close to 30 flavors a day, you can choose a few and grab some tea, a lavender French soda or a fancy latte and hope someone spies you being fabulous from your perch in the window. Salted Caramel is a popular macaron choice, but you haven’t lived until you nibble on the Rose Lychee White Chocolate with a brushstroke of edible silver dust on top. Tres chic!


Le Bon Macaron 951 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 706-0183

The fashionista can’t commit to wearing one print forever but she can commit to one night of theatre. While the name Forever Plaid throws her off, our fashionable gal is sure to enjoy the Farmers Alley Theatre production featuring Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie (don’t they sound like of-the-moment supermodels?). The four singers who dream of being famous are on the way to their first big gig and are killed in an accident. It’s at that moment, when their lives end, that the story of Forever Plaid begins. Sing along with a program of 1950s pop hits such as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Sixteen Tons” and “Heart and Soul.”


Forever Plaid Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo Dec. 4-27, Thur. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. Tickets: $37 Fri.-Sun., $32 Wed.-Thurs., (269) 343-2727

The 27th Annual UICA

Shop for beautifully crafted gifts and goods from dozens of regional artists, including jewelry, home goods, fine art, holiday cards, accessories, and toys. Parking and admission are both free. Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Steelcase Town Hall 901 44th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Friday, December 4th Member Preview: 5:30pm Public: 6:00pm–9:00pm Saturday, December 5th 10:00am–7:00pm Photo courtesy LIEF Design

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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fitness freak

The Fitness Freak never slows down. Even with a packed schedule, she still finds time to hit the gym, trails, pool, climbing wall, yoga mat, bike, kayak, slopes… you get the idea. If it involves endorphins, she’s down. She’s also not-so-patiently waiting for REVUE’s Fit Issue to come out in January. B y L i n d s ay Pat t o n - C a r s o n

When the Fitness Freak needs to simultaneously clear her mind and work up some endorphins, she turns to running. That’s why she trusts the experts at Striders to find her the perfect shoe — kind of like Cinderella, but sweatier and with more callouses and bruised toenails.


Striders Multiple locations in West Michigan

Fitness Freaks know that when it’s time to work out, the higher the BPMs, the better. That’s why they have all of Alexis’ songs on their work out playlist. The Grand Rapids-based duo basically creates the music equivalent of Four Loko circa 2009. Fans of the band recently got their Alexis fix when the band premiered its new music video at the UICA’s Open Projector Night. Oh, and fun fact: frontman Matthew Forbush cohosts a pro wrestling podcast and keyboardist Dan Hurst is an avid biker. A perfect combination for the Fitness Freak.




Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

The Fitness Freak’s ears perk up when she hears of a new gym in town. She’s particularly interested in CKO Kickboxing, where she can take out her aggression on boxing bags. She especially loves that there’s a special pre-sale for the first 100 members (hint, hint) at $20 off the monthly rate and half off the start-up rate. They even throw in a T-shirt and starter boxing gloves. Get this package and Fitness Freak will freak.

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CKO Kickboxing 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 920-0335

Juicy Leaf prides itself in being the first cold-pressed juice business, to which the Fitness Freak says “ABOUT TIME.” Juicy Leaf uses locally sourced ingredients and all its juice is sold in less than three days, ensuring that the product is fresh. The Fitness Freak loves a nutrient-rich juice right after an intense workout.


Juicy Leaf 316 S Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 104, Kalamazoo, (269) 350-4117

In order to perform her best, the Fitness Freak needs to fuel her body with food that is full of nutrients. She lives off the natural foods offered at Apple Valley, a company that promotes the principles of healthy living.


Apple Valley Natural Foods 6070 Kalamazoo Ave., SE, Kentwood (616) 554-3205 For more info on locations in Battle Creek, Berrien Springs, Cadillac, Holland and Westmont, visit

Treat your Fitness Freak to a night of badassery when the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby faces off against the DuPage Derby Dames in a double header. Formed in 2005, the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby is the first and only women’s roller derby league and is one of 30 founding members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Cool info, but the Fitness Freak is more concerned about getting pumped up watching some intense competition.


Grand Raggidy Roller Derby Rivertown Sports, Grandville Dec. 5, 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $12,

$49 99 mo OPENING JAN 2016




Boxing gloves & T-shirt with this special!

820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Pre-opening special for rst 100 sign-ups: $49.99/month annual membership (regularly $69.99) and half off enrollment fee (regularly $99, now $49). Lock in for life with this rate!


Bikram Yoga is HOT Yoga, but HOT Yoga is not Bikram Yoga.

December 1st – December 13th! Plus, 30% off any package purchased during this time. Excludes drop ins, autopay, online purchases, 5 class card, and 10 days for $10.

Already have a package? No problem! Each new class package goes on hold until your prior package is used up!

This offer is available to current and new students. No combining discounts.

Phone Orders Accepted! Expanded Schedule! 231.392.4798 REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



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desserts your friends can’t pronounce. You Are What You Eat: Joint Health will help you cook your in-season fingerling potatoes and kale into a delicious concoction of smug healthfulness, too. Cooking Classes at the Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 2-5 classes/month (ongoing) $45 for 1 class, $120-160 for class series, (616) 805-5308

Everyone knows that Wes Anderson’s films are the quirky, grass-fed porkbelly sandwich of cinema. Lucky for Foodies, Wes’s top hits are playing successively throughout December (in chronological order of release, of course). Catch the weekly special each Tuesday at 8 p.m. or enjoy all of the films to experience the most full-bodied character development.


Wes Anderson takes over Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids $6 non-member, $5 member Tuesdays @ 8 p.m., (616) 459-4788 x131


Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

The Foodie knows the name of every local farm within a 50-mile radius and has an heirloom tomato greenhouse on speed dial. Never lowering him or herself to eating at chains, the Foodie demands to speak with the chef to ask “what inspired this dish and what percentage of your food comes from local farms?” By Marjorie Steele

Rushmore (Dec. 1), The Royal Tenenbaums (Dec. 8), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Dec. 15), The Darjeeling Limited (Dec. 22), Grand Budapest Hotel (Dec. 29)

Get music in its rawest form during Open Mic Nights at The Monarchs’ Club. This well kept West Side secret features great brews, a relaxed ambience and live, local performances by up-and-coming talent every Monday night. Cozy up to the bar after dinner around 9 p.m.

Open Mic Night at The Monarchs’ Club 646 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Every Monday starting at 9 p.m., (616) 233-9799

Cut pre-packaged carbs out of your holiday menu entirely w ith delicious hand-crafted pasta and chocolate treats from The Local Epicurean. This pasta-making retailer offers artisanal pasta made with century-old traditions and a host of I’d-never-think-of-putting-those-things-together botanical combinations, like roasted pumpkin and chipotle or purple pansy and basil. Find handmade sauces, glutenfree options, truffle oils, pastas, chocolate truffles, soup mixes and even pre-made meals for the most discerning palate. Note: Local Epicurean is moving to a new location in Eastown the second week of January.


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The Local Epicurean 111 S Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 206-5175

Cooking classes at the Downtown Market are the perfect cure for a Foodie’s lament that there isn’t enough authentic food nearby. In December, a Seasonal Soups class teaches you to make your own stock from the chicken you caught at the farmer’s market; a French Dessert: Puff Pastry tutorial will give you the skills to make perfect Pan Au Chocolat and other



Few cuisines speak to the Foodie more than sushi, and Maru’s menu caters beautifully to those with a taste for the creative, exotic and just plain weird. Arguably the best place to find authentic sushi in town, Maru’s menu of cheeky rolls and plates features dishes like “Sexy Bacon,” “Super Mario” and “Beach Party.” With more approachable fare on one hand, Maru offers Foodies the danger and excitement they crave with daily specials like fresh-caught blue fin tuna sashimi, oyster shooters and impossibly exotic monkfish liver.


Dinner at Maru Sushi Maru Sushi, 927 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 458-1900












TWELVE pints and more for the price of TEN.

The perfect stocking stuffer!

Vodka, pickles, mix and a glass in a logo gift box.

Traditional copper Moscow Mule mugs for holiday cocktails.














FREE $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 gift card.

Celebrate with caviar from around the world.

Four flavors of salmon, local whitefish, and trout.




SUSHI MAKI DOWNTOWN MARKET Holiday platters available. Call in to order. 616.288.6132

$10 and $25 gift certificates available. Class certificates too!

MICHIGAN PANTRY Give the best! Michigan made baskets.


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Some people are old before their time. Foregoing technology and keeping up on current events, the Fossil could use a moshpit type shove into the future. Here are some starting points. By M issy B lac k

When we say The Fossil is old school we’re talking oneroom schoolhouse. That’s how old. The Fossil likes things handmade with craft and integrity and because everything you buy falls apart these days. A trip to Brothers Leather Supply Co. means goods that withstand the test of time. From leather bags to belts, wallets and growler carriers, these are products that’ll last years and improve with age. There are even journals and the shop can “personalize anything — we have a branding machine so you can have your wallet or journal personalized,” said owner Adam Kail.


Brothers Leather Supply Co. 15 Division Ave. South, Grand Rapids, (616) 217-2000

We’ve all heard of Kenny G. The man has been around and he can be trusted — he has a recording career that spans almost three decades. The Fossil only enjoys classical music, vinyl or musicians of saxophone world fame from the ‘80s. None of this new guy Justin Bieber garbage. On Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. one can enjoy The Kenny G Holiday Show, which features his many career hits as well as holiday songs. Tickets range from $42 to $60.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

48 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015


Kenny G Holiday Show Forest Hills Fine Arts Center 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., $42-$60, 1-800-745-3000

Leaving cookies out for Santa is tradition. The Fossil is a big believer in tradition, but (begrudgingly) will update his goodies and get with the times. By attending the Cocktails to Leave Santa class, he can learn how to make festive cocktails. “We’re focusing on drinks that warm you up, rich and decadent cocktails that


are a treat,” said Downtown Market Beverage Manager Jenney Grant. For $35 you receive demonstrations, create two drinks and enjoy sample-sized sips and holiday cookies. Cocktails to Leave Santa Grand Rapids Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 15, 6–7:30 p.m., $35, (616) 805-5308

Normally The Fossil prefers to stay home with a TV dinner and M*A*S*H reruns, but if he’s forced to go out with friends, The Old Goat sounds right up his alley. In fact, he can order the TV Dinner, which features seared Salisbury Steak topped with haystack onions, Yukon mashed potatoes, beef-tomato gravy, buttered peas and corn and (wait for it…) a chocolate espresso brownie. Some things are classic for a reason.


The Old Goat 2434 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 288-6976

The Fossil really hits it off with anyone over the age of 60. IRIS pairs legendar y 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven in the New York fashion scene. The documentary shows “you’re never too old to learn something new and no matter what age you are you can still make a contribution to society,” said Angela Peavey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.


Real to Reel: IRIS Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck Dec. 10, 7 p.m. $5-$7,, (269) 857-2399

Two great dining destinations. Two great gift ideas.

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

For details, call Salt of the Earth at 269.561.7258 or Principle Food & Drink at 269.743.6563


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Today, almost 20 percent of the world’s population plays video games, so the stereotype of gaming being the exclusive domain of basement-dwelling, sexless dweebs has all but vanished. Hell, nowadays “Sexy Gamer Girl” is actually a thing. While that’s definitely sexist, it epitomizes how the culture around the industry has changed. So embrace your inner geek, gamers, because society sure has. b y Dw a y n e H o o v e r

Play N Trade’s two Grand Rapids locations truly cater to gaming culture. They offer the newest releases, sometimes with midnight releases and also boast an extensive collection of retro games. While you’re in to pre-order your next timewasting endeavor, peruse the selection of original NES games, grab a Borderlands action figure or just nerd out and chat with fellow game-lovers.


What’s better than metal dudes rocking out the coolest songs from Mega Man and Final Fantasy? Nothing. And while you may need to travel closer to Mid Michigan to catch a live performance from these metal masters of video game covers, you can always buy a copy of their full length album, We Are Error, or their newest EP, World of Ruin, to blast in your headphones from the comfort of your sunlight-deprived room.


West Michigan Play N Trade 2500 E. Beltline SE and 3551 Alpine Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Year 200X Lansing

It used to be that the measure of a true gamer wasn’t how many hours you spent holed up in your room shooting zombies in the face, but rather how long you could play on a single quarter at the arcade. Revisit the gaming culture of yesteryear at Klassic Arcade and play as much as you want for just five bucks. They have all the old favorites, from Pac Man and Donkey Kong to Frogger and Joust, a slew of pinball machines – even pop in glass bottles, just like the old days.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Klassic Arcade 22711 M-40, Gobles, (269) 628-4628

Tiffany’s in Kalamazoo has an enormous selection of alcoholic beverages for you to buy and take to every Gamer’s sanctuary: Home. You can enjoy a nice buzz in a social setting, albeit a virtual one.


Tiffany’s Wine and Spirits 1714 W. Main St., Kalamazoo, (269) 381-1414

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Dedicating yourself to hours, even days, in front of your gaming console doesn’t mean you need to eat garbage. Ditch the microwave burritos and fast food and let Cult Pizza deliver a delectable East Coast style pizza with fresh, “farm-to-crust” ingredients right to your front door. It’s the best of both worlds: Eating quality food while ensuring that your ass remains firmly attached to your sofa.


Cult Pizza 10 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 490-4911

Being a gamer is not synonymous with being a Star Wars nerd, but let’s face it, you’re going to see this movie. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ll want to watch it so you can poke fun at your gushing, fanboy friends about how terrible it was. But for those fully feeling the force, on Dec. 17, Celebration! Cinema also hosts a seven-movie Star Wars Marathon Event, for the truly dedicated.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Dec. 18, Celebration! Cinema 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids

Live entertainment West Michigan’s Best Bands Every Friday & Saturday, 9:30pm–1:30am (No Cover) Dec. 4–5: Paris Blue Dec. 11–12: Tongue and Groove  Dec. 18–19: Three’s A Crowd Dec. 26: TBD Dec. 31 & Jan. 2 Decades 



5656 Clyde Park wyoming, mi 49509 (616) 530-2400 sPeCtrumlanes.Com

Come see our new seamless video wall!

West Michigan’s best place to party

Call us to help you put together an awesome party package. Whether it is a company party, birthday, retirement party, or whatever you want to celebrate... We can help make it fun.

Fiesta Mondays $5.99 Fiesta Menu, $3 Margaritas 1/2 Price Drinks 9pm-Midnight (Excludes Pitchers)

Brew City tuesday $7.99 3-Item Pizzas All Day & Night $4 Michigan Beers All Day & Night 1/2 Price Drinks 9pm-Midnight (Excludes Pitchers)

Wine DoWn WeDnesDays $12.99 2-For-1 Steak Dinners $6.99 All You Can Eat Spaghetti $2 Wells, $2 Bottles $2 Drafts 9pm-Midnight Karaoke - $1 Bowling 9pm-Close

Ladies’ Night Thursdays $2 Off Signature Drinks 9pm-Close $3 Fireball, $3 RumChata $3 Jameson 9pm-Midnight Live DJ 9:30pm-Close

Finally Freaking Fridays Live Music (No Cover) 9:30pm-1:30am $6.95 Fish & Chips $7 Miller Lite Pitchers Live DJ Rock-N-Bowl 11:30pm-2am

HigH EnErgy SaturdayS

Live Music (No Cover) 9:30pm-1:30am $6 Monster Energy Mixed Drinks All Day & Night Live DJ Rock-N-Bowl 11:30pm-2am

Game Day SunDayS

Come watch your favorite games with friends on one of our many big screens. Happy hour prices all day & night.

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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GOP Candidate

This candid Republican presidential candidate has a busy political agenda. Here are some solid options that’ll showcase his genuine “regular person” credentials while he continues to Trump the War on Christmas. B y NICK M ANES

When it comes to running for President, money is really the only thing that matters. Luckily, Grand Rapids’ quasi-public, social entrepreneurship firm tends to have it in spades. Start Garden and its affiliate groups love their gatherings on about the same level as they love bolstering the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a candidate, make a stop, mention small business and you’re in.


Start Garden 40 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids

in campaign events. From John Mellencamp to The Dropkick Murphys to Neil Young, all have told GOP candidates to find their own damn music. So for some fresh ideas on how to hype up an epic stump speech or two, stop by A Classic Rock Christmas. You’re guaranteed to find a song you can use once before the cease and desist letter comes. A Class Rock Christmas DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 21, 8 p.m., (616) 742-6500

On-and-off again GOP leader of the pack/real estate developer/reality TV star/ tanning aficionado Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to punish Ford for building cars in Mexico. He has yet to call out the family for their management of the Detroit Lions. Nonetheless, it’s not a bad time to purchase a car. It helps our state and you’ll look badass in an Edge.


Grand Rapids Fox Ford 3560 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 956-5511

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Grand Rapids finally has a craft cocktail bar again and with prices for a drink reportedly going for between $10 and $20, you’d have to be a Republican Presidential candidate to afford one, let alone two. As a bonus, the room is small and dark, allowing for clandestine strategy sessions.


Sidebar 80 Ottawa Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 551-9195

For avid music fans, this ongoing, seemingly-endless election cycle has been marked by one thing: elite classic rockers telling elite presidential candidates to stop using their songs


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There’s no group GOP candidates must cater to more than traditional southerners. While located in a known-progressive town on Michigan’s lakeshore, The Southerner’s reputation and dependability for home-cooked, southern food proceeds it, making the Saugatuck joint a must-stop for the weary GOP candidate caught in his own Yankee hell.


The Southerner 880 Holland St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-3555

With regular line dancing and country bands in the heart of dow ntow n Grand Rapids, no self-respecting GOP candidate could pass up the opportunity to mix it up with the base in a good, old, whiskeydrinking saloon. Despite the festivities galore, in the age of social media where a Howard Dean noise can cost one the presidency, a would-be candidate may want to pass on the dance floor and focus more on the back-slapping.


Line Dancing at The Back Forty Saloon 48 West Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 742-4040

Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: 7 days a week

Note Worthy Dining.

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Downtown Grand Rapids

10% Off Inside Holiday Inn 310 Pearl St. NW (616) 235-1342

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Excludes alcohol. Cannot be used on holidays. Expires 1/31/16. Revue Magazine.

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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music Buff

Jazzholes and jam-band freaks alike share the same level of auditory fanaticism despite differences in genre preferences. What unites them is an insatiable quest for music and the tendency toward knowing more than you about their favorite subject. By Au dr ia Lar s e n

So you’ve picked over the West Michigan go-to shops — Vertigo Music, Dodds Record Shop, Satellite Records and Green Light Music — what’s next? A true Music Buff is willing to make a healthy drive for some fresh vinyl digging time. In the heart of Spartan Country sits Flat, Black & Circular (FBC), a vinyl lover’s haven. FBC offers a huge selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, books, posters and cassettes. Nab some rare punk and metal from small independent labels or peruse the heartiest reggae and dub section around. On your way home, stop into the newly re-opened Classic Stereo and browse a choice stock of new turntables, speakers and stereo equipment. The store is an audiophile’s paradise.


Flat, Black & Circular 541 E. Grand River, East Lansing, (517) 351-0838 Classic Stereo 6275 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 301-3388

Take your favorite jazzhole to SpeakEZ Lounge for a n ight of i m bi bi ng a nd swinging Prohibition-era hits from the River City Jazz Ensemble, and while you’re at it, celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of pesk y anti-booze laws. Drink specials and historical goodies will be available thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Period attire is encouraged. Music begins at 9 p.m.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Prohibition Repeal Party w/ River City Jazz Ensemble SpeakEZ Lounge 600 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 5, 7-11 p.m. $10,, (616) 458-2689

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Muskegon-based contemporary folk trio Julia & the Greensides graces Unruly Brewing Company this month. Cello and guitar mingle with strong vocal harmonies to produce lilting tunes and genre-spanning covers from artists such as Bob Dylan, Bastille and Leonard Cohen, to the Lumineers. Knock back local brews and get your holiday pre-game in while catching local jams with your best music bud.


Julia & the Greensides Unruly Brewing 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Dec. 19, 8 p.m., (231) 288-1068

Audiophiles can be just as discerning about their foodstuffs as their hi-fi system. Take your music freak to Founder’s for their special dish, Pork & Brie. Dine on roasted pork belly, brie cheese, spinach, red onion and apple purée on a toasted french roll for a mere $10.25. Enjoy live music most nights while you dine. And if you happen to pop in on Dec. 17, you can catch All Them Witches as they bring some modern bluesy goodness to the Founder’s stage.


Pork & Brie at Founder’s Brewing Co. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 776-1195

The holidays don’t have to be holly and jolly — they can be sludgy and grungy, especially for ‘90s alt-rock aficionados. With the recent retail release, the new and authorized documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is a hot ticket item for diehard fans and casual listeners alike. Because who doesn’t love a lurid and tragic story, replete with iconic music that captured the angst of a generation? You can nab a copy at your local Schuler Books.


Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck DVD, $24.98 Schuler Books & Music 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 942-2561

Experience your music for the first time.

6275 28th St SE Grand Rapids, MI 616-301-3388

turntables | amps | speakers | home theater | tvs | hi-res audio

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Connecting with nature on every level, they think life’s just a bowl of twigs and berries — served with dandelion wine… By M issy B lac k

The word “woosah” is a meditative word. “When you say it out loud it’s supposed to relax and calm you down,” said super-groovy Woosah owner Erica Lang, who herself is calmed by nature. The overall vibe of her shop is rooted in nature, giving you a sense of adventure through her woodcut artwork that’s printed onto everything from T-shirts to hoodies and water bottles. “If you love the outdoors you’ll find inspiration here,” she said. Oh, and head in for Yoga on Wednesdays.

pendent artists and earth-friendly activism. With influences ranging from Neil Young, Woody Guthrie and Michigan (a deep resource), this is true organic music.


Seth & May

Always on the hunt for vegan of fer i ngs, t he Naturalist stumbles upon the We Got the Beet sandwich and falls head over Birkenstocks in love. It’s a wild rice and beet patty with green curry peanut sauce, kale and carrot slaw and garlic-lime vegannaise all on a branny oat bun for less than $10. The staff informs that while there are usually four or five vegan sandwiches on the menu, this is the newest, so cue the taste testing.

Woosah 131 South Division Ave., Grand Rapids

Enjoy a crisp, evening hike through Blandford Nat u re Center ’s woods, using your senses of hearing and night vision while communing with nature. Registration is required for this adults-only Night Hike on Dec. 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. You’ll only spend $3–$6 for a night where you get in tune with Mother Earth’s nighttime offerings.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-4020

Public Restaurant 131 E. Main St., Zeeland, (616) 741-9772

The Naturalist will tell you that ginger has a long history of use for relieving problems such as nausea to motion sickness and loss of appetite. Open your heart, mind and gullet to new things and partake in the Gin & Ginger drink — a mix of ginger-infused gin and ginger syrup and lime. Refreshing and a possible elixir, this beverage might just cure what ails you.

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The Naturalist is attracted to simple joys, sans shoes and the practice of walking barefoot, also known as “earthing.” A little tiptoe on soil, grass or sand may have health benefits from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. Barefoot in the Park, the stage production, is a comedy featuring newlyweds Paul and Corie. He is a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she is a free spirit. Team this relationship with an overpriced New York apartment, a nosy mother-in-law and a zany neighbor.


Blandford Nature Center 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 735-6240



Our Naturalist loves the sound of birdsong, wind chimes and folk music. Introduce them to Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, a pair of Michigan-based contemporary folk performers and roots musicians who’ve recorded and performed extensively both as a duo and as solo artists. With a strong background in songwriting and performing, the artists have been perennial attractions at the annual Earthwork Music Harvest Gathering, a music festival devoted to inde-


Barefoot in the Park Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids Jan. 15-31, $16–$28, (616)222-6650

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REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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photography dad

Photography Dad got a camera as a child. It was black and heavy and he used it to take photos as a neo-realist Marxist photojournalist documentarian. Now he’s gone digital and his favorite subjects are his children. By Steven DePolo

Photography Dad likes to work with Sales Representative Bra ndon L a ke, who ver y calmly listens to Photography Dad talk about his children. Photography Dad is saving up for the Sigma 200-500mm 2.8 lens for $25,999. Ouch. It would be perfect to take shots of his Photography Daughters in soccer. He also checks out the Little Studio Light Kit to shoot macros of the potholders Photography Mom sells on Etsy.


Norman Camera 2954 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 954-9920

Photography Dad loves taking photos of active people having fun. The Ugly Sweater Run is the perfect event. The run celebrates National Ugly Sweater Day on Dec. 18 with $5 going to a children’s charity. Look for him pushing his children to the front so he can document them at the starting line. The gun goes off and he grabs a coffee and chimps his images. Then he’s back in front of the finish line shooting the runners as they try not to knock him down.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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posting on Facebook to make your friends jealous. Japanese Rose Gilly’s at The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 356-2000

The Leffring Sisters are young and smart, multi-talented and full of joy — perfect subjects for Photography Dad. Tickets for the concert at the Frauenthal Center are free with donations collected for the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs. Photography Dad gets tickets for all of his children, parks them in last row, then hustles down to the front of the stage. With his flash fully charged, he can’t wait to get shots of the sonically inclined sisters.


The Leffring Sisters: A Concert to Support Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts 425 W Western Ave., Muskegon Dec. 12, 8 p.m., Free, (231) 722-9750

The Ugly Sweater Run Grand Rapids Dec. 5, noon Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids

Having gotten bored of posting lattes on Instagram, he’s taken his old-school Leica to Gilly’s in the B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids. The restaurant serves tapas and house-made craft beers, but they are best known for their cocktails, which are coincidentally photogenic. Gilmore Collection Beverage Director Melissa Slachter invented the Japanese Rose. It’s slightly floral with Hendricks Gin, lychee, lemon and bitters served in a martini glass. Take it over to a window and capture its brilliant colors before

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe performed by Reflections of Grace Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 4–6, $10, (616) 459-4788


With his daughters clawing their way to prima ballerinas, Photography Dad is looking forward to the performance of “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” by Reflections of Grace. With his trusty fish-eye lens in hand, he will brush past Wealthy Theatre Director Erin Wilson to take his preferred position on stage.


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Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

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pop culture nerd

Movies, music, books, television and tabloid news is the Pop Culture Nerd’s world. This person has an opinion on everything from Doctor Who to Justin Bieber’s little Bieber. You may think their vast pop-culture knowledge is unnecessary — at least until you get hit with an Evil Dead question at team trivia. B y L i n d s ay Pat t o n - C a r s o n

Music treasures await the Pop Culture Nerd at the Kalamazoo Record & CD Show. Sift through new and used vinyl and music memorabilia. The show is presented by Rerun Records, a home-based business dedicated to tracking down collectorquality records for its customers. Every genre imaginable is represented, satisfying the Pop Culture Nerd’s obscure tastes.


sible with his “Star Talk” radio show and snarky Twitter posts. He frequently dissects the science portrayed in television and movies and even called out James Cameron for having the wrong night sky in Titanic. Because of deGrasse Tyson, Cameron ended up correcting the image in his 2012 3-D rerelease. The dude has influence. An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 21, 7:30 p.m., $45$95, devosperformancehall. com, (616) 742-6500

Kalamazoo Record & CD Show Kalamazoo County Expo Center Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, early admission $5, (269) 383-8778

Andy Warhol fused art and pop culture with his screenprints that ranged from ordinary Campbell’s Soup cans to pop culture icons like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Jackie-O. Find out how Warhol and other artists created these masterpieces at this exhibit at Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts. It features more than 80 works by 32 artists.


If you couldn’t guess by the name, Bilbo’s Pizza is devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Established in 1976, its Tolkien-obsessed founders incorporated the theme in everything they do – from the restaurant’s interior to its menu. Bilbo’s not only has an extensive pizza menu, but brews its own beer. Try the Wizard Wheat on its own or with a cherry or raspberry twist.

Colour Correction: British and American Screenprints, 1967-75 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S Park St., Kalamazoo Through March 27, 2016, (269) 349-7775

This off-the-menu drink contains a mix of liquor even some of the servers don’t know. The Pop Culture Nerd anticipates its arrival, especially since the souvenir cup has pop culture-centric images like Iggy Pop and a Pavement concert ticket printed on the side. (Warning: Consuming more than one Stella’s Punch may lead to stealing food off fellow diners’ plates, ruining a nice night out for two parents and getting kicked out of ArtPrize.)

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Stella’s Punch Stella’s,53 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 742-4444


Astrophysics have never been so cool, thanks to the whip-smart and witty Neil deGrasse Tyson. He makes science acces-

60 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015


Bilbo’s Pizza 6202 S. Westnedge Ave. & 3307 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo

Since it has been a Christmas classic for 25 years (!), you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen Home Alone at least three times. Like Ghostbusters and The Big Lebowski, the clever Kevin McCallister gets the quote-along treatment. Shout out famous lines like “Keep the change, ya filthy animal” and not get thrown out for talking during the movie. Yesssss!


Home Alone Quote-along Alamo Drafthouse 180 Portage Street, Kalamazoo Dec. 1, 5 p.m., $20 for movie and food, (269) 532-7990

Holiday Shop Hop Thursday, December 3 - Event begins at 4PM - Free shuttles from 4-10PM

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Discover how good clothing gets while reducing carcinogens in closets & ecosystems. Visit our world class collection of  eco apparel featuring local, U.S. & international designers.  | 616.742.2818 | 141 Diamond Ave. SE behind Marie Catrib’s

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Hand Crafted Ice Cream

"Give thanks and be merry for what you have”


jeffrey.richard an AVEDA Concept Salon

958 Cherry St. SE GR

Holiday it up!

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soccer mom What day is it, Tuesday? Does that mean there’s t-ball practice or a PTO meeting? Crap, it’s both, isn’t it? Well, whatever. After a week filled with fundraising and uniform washing, the Soccer Mom has a sitter lined up this weekend for some much-needed “me” time. b y Dw a y n e H o o v e r

It’s often said that chocolate is better than sex. To be fair, it probably depends on the chocolate — and the sex. Regardless, a quaint little candy store in downtown Allegan offers a variety of treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s also a great place to snag a last-minute present like a custom gift basket, coffees and teas, or even a box of specialty truffles.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


Something Sweet 109 Locust St., Allegan (269) 686-8584

Dump the kids on dad, grab some friends and head over to St. Julian for an Enhanced Tasting & Tour. Spend a carefree late morning or early afternoon on a stroll around the winery, led by St. Julian’s wine educators, with your choice of a cheese or chocolate pairing with your wine tasting. Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy some actual cheese with your wine instead of


62 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

constantly asking your kids if they want some “cheese with their whine?”, (269) 381-5677

It’s the perfect place to schedule a romantic dinner or a relaxed lunch with the bestie.

Enhanced Tasting & Tour St. Julian Winery 716 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw Sun.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $20, by reservation only, (269) 657-5568

Can you say date night? The Wizards of Winter hit the State Theatre this month, bringing a stripped down, more intimate performance of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s music. The show is led by some of the group’s original members.

Four Roses Cafe 663 10th St., Plainwell, (269) 685-1077

The Wizards of Winter Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo Dec. 12, 8:30 p.m., $25-55, (269) 345-6500

W hen Gra ndpa a nd Grandma offer to take the kids after church, you might want to stop into Old Dog Tavern. Their Bloody Mary Bar is a solid Sunday destination spot for those looking to unwind. You’ll also enjoy a special brunch menu, $5 mimosas and sometimes live music. So take the time to spoil yourself, because tomorrow kicks off a whole new week of fulfilling everybody else’s needs.


Bloody Mary Bar at Old Dog Tavern 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Take a break from the frantic drive-thru meal schedule and treat yourself to something kinder on the palate at Four Roses. It’s off the beaten path, but provides a culinary experience more typically seen in larger metros, specializing in dishes made from local, fresh ingredients.


Adulthood is the worst, so take a break from all obligations and let nostalgia remind you of a time when you only had to worry about yourself. Detroit’s Mega ‘80 s h its T he I nter sec t ion t w ice i n December, providing you with the awesome opportunity to rock out to all of the music you’re otherwise too embarrassed to admit to liking. You know you’ve been looking for an excuse to dust off those L.A. Gears buried in your closet anyway.


Mega ‘80s at The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 12 & 18, 8:00 p.m., $10, (616) 451-8232

Holiday Shop Hop Thursday, December 3 - Event begins at 4PM - Free shuttles from 4-10PM

(616) 459-5075 978 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids

Modern jewelry design in East Hills where Cherry meets Diamond

Top-notch resale for style-conscious women.

Specializing in travel apparel, bags and accessories for all your travel needs 616.776.1628 • 972 Cherry St. SE • Grand Rapids

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Gift cards available!

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The Thespian’s life is pure drama. While most are just going through the mundane motions of life, each day this tragedian purist is a living and breathing Tony Award-winning musical. By Nicole Rico

The Thespian in your l i fe i s end les s ly searching for the latest film adaptations of Broadway plays and musicals and Green Light has a huge selection of used DVDs and Blu-rays. The stagy scholar can study the masters of acting in the film realm, like De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Marlon Brando. But, let’s be real, he’s more about sing ing along to musical soundtracks like Les Miserables — dig around for a CD or vinyl edition.


Green Light Music 4717 W Kl Ave., Kalamazoo Mon-Sat: 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun: 12 p.m.–5 p.m., (269) 372-8560

Make the Thespian’s dream of being onstage, under the spotlight, come true and drop them off at the Actors’ Theatre Auditions. This Grand Rapids-based company churns out contemporary plays and musicals. Actors’ produces five productions per season annually, in addition to a summer second space series in the intimate Dog Story Theater. Here’s The Thespian’s chance to show his stuff. On Dec. 5, auditions begin for Grace, a play about a philosophy professor and atheist who is attempting to disprove god while her son becomes a priest. Written by Mick Gordon and A.C. Grayling, Grace is the perfect production to help hone those acting chops. It runs Jan. 28–Feb. 6.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

64 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015


Actors’ Theatre Auditions 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids Dec. 5–6, 12 p.m.-3 p.m., (616) 234-3946

A cultured Thespian scoffs at PBR and Budweiser — and has likely tapped out all of the local wine hotspots. After one of the Thespian’s many excursions to the Wharton Center For Performing Arts in East Lansing, take them up the street to Dusty’s Cellar in nearby Okemos. Enjoy dinner, a few drinks or pub fare in their Tap Room or check out the Cellar where they stock thousands of wines — thousands!


Note: Dec. 17–19, Wharton Center hosts Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a wintry holiday spectacular. Dusty’s Cellar 1855 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos, (517) 349-5150

With the never-ending dramatic spectacles in the Thespian’s life, the nostalgic and heartwarming melodies of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” are sure to bring some much needed warmth to his melodramatic heart. And while this play buff surely owns the 1964 Disney film on DVD, this month it’s happening live when Mary Poppins flies into the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.


Mary Poppins Kalamazoo Civic Theatre 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo Through Dec. 6, $14–$25, (269) 343-1313

The Thespian will no doubt be at home at a Murder Mystery Co. event. Merging dinner with theatre, a team of actors play out a crime scene while the Thespian and his friends solve the “crime.” Visit to book a killer evening.


The Murder Mystery Co., 888 643-2583

While The Thespian is most comfortable with a script, he has always wondered how he’d do with only his clever wits. Perhaps he’ll jot down some notes while watching the River City Improv in action. The group performs skits, games and songs using suggestions from the audience to create a one-of-a-kind show.


River City Improv 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 5 & 19, 7:33 p.m., $10, (616) 752-8570

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


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Local Gift Solutions We combine local businesses and must-have items for some holiday shopping inspiration. Bad gifts? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Foodie Gourmet Gift Package, $24.95 Chocolates by Grimaldi, Grand Haven

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Art Lover UICA gift cards, memberships & gifts, various amounts UICA, Grand Rapids

nutty JR Watkins Coconut Milk & Honey Dry Mist Body Oil (also in lavender and grapefruit), $9.99 Apothecary Off Main in Grand Rapids

Dazzler Jewelry from Third & Co. Studio, various prices Cheeky Strut Hair Salon, Grand Rapids and Third & Co.’s Facebook page

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Cultured Opera Grand Rapids Holiday Special Buy 2 Orchestra Premium tickets to Orpheus & Eurydice or Romeo & Juliet and get 25% off additional tickets, or other perks. Valid through Dec. 21.

Sweetie Heart stud earrings, $12 Sparrow Boutique. Muskegon

sensual Trashy Romance Novel soy candle from Frostbeard Studio, $17 Tallthers in Muskegon

Accessorizor Jeweled bracelets, $16 Paperdoll Boutique, Rockford

Audiophile JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth Splashproof Speaker, $299 Classic Stereo, Grand Rapids

Sassy “I Hate Everyone, Too” socks (more styles available), $9.50 Rebel, Grand Rapids

Classic Rocker David Bowie Five Years: 1969-1973 box set, $189.98 Vertigo Music, Grand Rapids

616 LOVE GR616 Skull T-shirt, $24

Treat yoself Almond Biscotti goat’s milk lotion, $10.99 Betty Lou’s Bath Body and Mind in Rockford

conservator Mona B bag (recycled and upcycled materials with leather straps), $45 6.25 Paper Studio, Grand Rapids

michigander Michigan Mug from Megan Akiyama Ceramics, $25 Bailey & James Boutique, Rockford

Beardos Beard care products Damn Handsome Grooming Company, Kalamazoo

COMING next month

The Fit Issue Ready to get physical? Revue’s FIT ISSUE will feature local gyms, yoga studios, healthy food options and creative ways to get fit.


CRANKER’S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 454 68th St SW, Grand Rapids 616-827-1919

CRANKER’S BREWERY 213 S State St, Big Rapids 231-796-1919

CRANKER’S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 1207 E Pickard Rd, Mount Pleasant 989-779-1919

DEADLINES Ad Space Reservation: Dec. 14 Street date: Jan. 1 Call us for a special advertising rate! (616) 608-6170 /


Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



68 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

visual art

by Kristen Guilbert

Meet Your PrintMaker Revue Chats with Ashley McGrath and Erica Lang Printmaking is an inimitable and intricate medium. It allows artists to engrave or etch an image onto a surface that will be used to create a series of pieces — each considered an original. Local printmakers Ashley McGrath and Erica Lang chatted with Revue — here’s what they had to say.

Ashley McGrath


airly new to printmaking, vocalist and keyboarder in The Soil & The Sun, Ashley McGrath became interested in printmaking two years ago. Since then, she’s fully embraced the organic art form. “As things get more digital, printmaking is becoming more special because it’s handmade,” McGrath said. “Anything handmade is becoming really appreciated because of that.” McGrath said she works from home and creates mainly woodcuts and linocuts. She often hand prints with a spoon, but when creating bigger prints and larger quantities she works at Dinderbeck, a Grand Rapids community print shop and artist studio. But it all started while doing her first passion: Music. “My band played at Rick Beerhorst’s ArtPrize exhibit. He’s a great woodcut artist in town and he first showed me how to carve,” McGrath said. “When I saw his woodcuts, I realized that printmaking was possible. It was my first time being exposed to it and something just kind of clicked.”

Erica Lang


“My prints are all rooted in nature and being inspired by nature,” she said. “They all have a geometric feel in the design. I also really love black lines and line work.” After graduation Lang focused on freelance, while selling her work whenever she could. But Lang wanted more for herself. “It was always my dream to have a store front,” she said. “I liked the idea of people being able to come in and shop for things, but also see how it’s made and talk to me about it.” In 2012, she found the perfect space to open up her own store but didn’t have enough funds for it. By creating a Kickstarter campaign, Lang raised the money she needed to open up her print shop, Woosah Outfitters. “It’s a lot of fun being a printmaker in Grand Rapids,” she explained. “It’s my passion, so I love doing it. I think woodcut is the oldest process of printmaking, but it’s kind of making a come back. It definitely takes a lot of time to carve and some people appreciate something that takes a lot more energy to create.” n

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

rica Lang, printmaker and owner of Woosah Outfitters, sparked an interest in printmaking in an introductory printmaking class at Central Michigan University. Lang switched colleges from Saginaw Valley, to Central, and finally to Kendall, where she realized that among other career paths, printmaking was something that finally felt right. “It was the one thing that got my blood pumping,” she said. “When I was doing it, I felt calm. I never wanted to stop doing it.” After learning all of the main printmaking techniques at Kendall, Lang said she was able to find what material and style suited her best. “Woodcuts are my favorite because they’re physical,” she said. “You really have to put yourself into them. There’s no going back from it. You’re carving away matter so you can’t put it back. I really like the suspense of it. You don’t know what it’s going to look like until you ink it up. It’s really rewarding at the end.” Lang said her work is inspired by the environment, but strong lines.

McGrath’s works, sold under the name Mashama Prints, are often minimalistic with natural images, such as flowers, trees and leaves. “I started selling my prints at my band’s shows,” she said. “Until recently I was still learning, so anything I was drawn to I would make into a print. But the direction I feel I am going in is really the expression of the natural world. I grew up on a farm so nature inspires me. A single plant or flower is so complex and beautiful. I also enjoy incorporating my childhood memories.” Even with a specific vision, McGrath said she is continually surprised with the end product. “When you print, what it’s going to look like is always sort of a surprise and I really like that,” she said. “I’ve kept pursuing it because I have these feelings inside that I want to express — printmaking became that expression for me.”


by Kimberly Peloquin


Historic Homicides Local Author Tobin T. Buhk releases Murder and Mayhem in Grand Rapids

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene


hile most true-crime enthusiasts limit themselves to reading the books and watching countless hours of Investigation Discovery shows, some gumshoe buffs set out on the trail of the killer — no matter how dusty the case is. Author/English teacher Tobin T. Buhk has a passion for shadowy true crimes and mysteries, especially those that occurred in Michigan. Buhk, a Grand Rapids-based writer, is committed to digging up the specifics and actualities about the misconducts — not pasting together fabled inaccuracies. He dedicates most of his time researching old-timey crimes and translating them into stories for crime aficionados like himself. With seven books already written, including Cause of Death (his 2007 debut) and his most recent, 2014’s Poisoning the Pecks of Grand Rapids: The Scandalous 1916 Murder Plot, in late October Buhk released another new true-crime saga. This time he chronicled the area’s most heinous crimes in Murder and Mayhem in Grand Rapids. “It’s a look at some of the city’s most violent crimes,” Buhk said. As a self-described “author, amateur crime historian and aficionado of history with a dark twist,” one might wonder what turned him on to the darker side of life. Aside from a brief stint as a volunteer in the Kent County Morgue, a famous killer also inspired him to delve into the true-crime genre. “I’ve always loved history, particularly the darker stuff you don’t find in textbooks,” Buhk said. “Although I’m not a ‘Ripperologist’ per se, an early fascination with Jack the Ripper turned me on to the idea of becoming a historical detective. Once I started, I discovered I loved to pull up rocks to see what secrets lie beneath.” As for what’s under those rocks, Buhk said you never know but sometimes the hard work pays off. “I once spent an entire day in the Oakland County records vault looking for a land deed, which I never found,” Buhk said. “Instead I discovered that the subject of my research, a lonely-hearts killer who used a variety of aliases, engaged in an early form of identity theft by assuming the names of his neighbors,” he added. “This type of research can be extremely frustrating but that a-ha moment is a high that’s quite addicting.”  Recovering information on crimes from yesteryear is tedious, so Buhk has a method he often uses. “(It) can be like finding a needle in a field of hay stacks,” he said. “In the days before microfilming, records were lost, taken home as curios by retiring officers, given to investigative reporters or simply discarded. Trial transcripts, which are very useful in sorting fact from fiction in often-sensational newspaper articles, are paper gold if they can be located. I’ve found that when a Michigan court record does contain a transcript, it is typically from the examination, preliminary hearing or coroner’s inquest but not the trial.” A selling point for a book is often the visuals accompanying the text and, of course, Buhk’s hunt for aged photos is also a relentless battle.

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GRPL’s MichiganMade Events by Jacqueline Bull


rand Rapids Public Library is usually a quiet haven to escape the busy world, but it’s also host to a series of upbeat literary affairs. Bonus: They’re all free. Here are just a few goings-on — all centered on Michigan — happening at the Main Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids.

Music in the Stacks: Tokyo Morose Dec. 17, 7 p.m. The Music in the Stacks concert series hosts local musicians in the serene environment of the library, not the standard beer-soaked barroom. This installment features the Grand Rapids-based indie band Tokyo Morose, the band’s Sequence of Steps LP won a 2013 Jammie Award for “Best Alternative Album.”

Exploring Michigan: Back Roads and Small Towns Dec. 15, 7 p.m.

“Over the years, I’ve pulled up hundreds of rocks looking for photographs of perpetrators only to reach one dead end after another,” he said. “This is particularly true of cases that took place before the advent of hand-held cameras. Sometimes, though, I get lucky and a group of photographs will emerge in the most unlikely of places, like in a dusty shoe box kept in the closet of a retired detective or investigative journalist.” And while many question journalistic integrity in today’s world, Buhk said decades ago newspapers would print total fabrications. “I hate to rely on old newspapers because the coverage can be at best sensationalized and at worst fabricated. … With old newspapers, one really needs to be able to read between the lines and I’ve become somewhat adept at sniffing out ‘facts’ that aren’t really facts. So, with historical cases, I try as best as I can to find trial transcripts.” n For more information, visit

Bill Murphy’s book Ride Michigan is a guide to riding motorcycles on the back roads of Michigan. The guide offers different maps and information on some of the most beautiful and fascinating places to ride your hog. Murphy will discuss the value of enjoying the journey over the destination and the philosophy of slowing down and taking in the sights. A book signing with Murphy follows the presentation.

Reading the Great Lakes Dec. 3, 7 p.m. The first Thursday of each month could be an opportunity to learn more about Michigan and its authors. Led by the GRPL librarians, the Reading the Great Lakes book club picks from various novels centered on our state. This event discusses Killing a Cold One by Joseph Haywood. For a complete list of the books for the club, visit

HyperOptik 1134 Wealthy Street 6 1 6 . 3 0 1 . 1 9 1 1 PHOTO: ROB CONENS FRAME: THEO JAMES NINE MODEL: JULIE HONEYCUTT

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


indie film

by Josh Spanninga

Bing It On White Christmas Screens at Holland’s Park Theatre


ichiganders know all too well the perils a winter storm can bring. Treacherous driving conditions, whiteouts and downed power lines are a mere fact of life. Still, when the wind dies down and the snow falls just right on the pine trees, you’d be hard pressed to find a more serene scene. The folks at Park Theatre in Holland have decided to celebrate this softer, gentler side of winter with a Dec. 18 screening of the classic 1954 musical White Christmas, it stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. In the film, the pair is a successful song-and-dance duo that fall in love with a sister act and try to save their former commanding general’s inn. It features plenty of catchy songs and dance numbers, as well as Paramount’s first use of VistaVision.

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

Babette’s Feast

The screening of White Christmas is just the latest in the theatre’s See It Again series, which brings classics to the big screen, generally centered on a particular theme. This past summer the series featured all Steven Spielberg films and this winter it turns its attention to musicals. All films are shown on a 12’x12’ screen with cabaret-style seating and a full cash bar available, as well as pizza and popcorn. So how exactly do they decide which films to show? It turns out the process is easier than you’d think. Theatre Manager Jonathan Fegel, who cites White Christmas as his favorite childhood Christmas film, said they go with what they know. “Ninety nine percent of the programming comes from myself or our marketing guy Gary,” Fegel said. “He comes up with some ideas and we’ll just go with it — sometimes we’ll get something from the programming committee.” None of the films in the series are new releases (hence the name “See It Again”), but Fegel said he views that as a way for the Park Theatre to carve out its own niche in the Holland community. “We try to pick stuff that’s obviously not playing at big theatres,” he said. “We’re not trying to compete with anything like that. We’re trying to do stuff nobody else is screening and people want to see again.” For more information on the See It Again film series, as well as other events at Park Theatre, visit

White Christmas (1954 Film) Park Theatre, 248 S River Ave, Holland Dec. 18, 7 p.m. (616) 929-9249,

72 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

Feast Your Eyes

UICA and Downtown Market’s ‘Big Screen Cuisine’


he most captivating quality of fi lm is its ability to cinematically transport viewers to faraway environments, cultures and foods. Ah yes, food. I mean, who can honestly say they didn’t crave Courtesans Au Chocolat from Mendel’s pastry shop after watching the Grand Budapest Hotel? And is there anyone who would turn down any of the delectable courses presented in Like Water for Chocolate? Terrence R. O’Haire, culinary coordinator for the Downtown Market, recognizes cinema’s ability to stir our taste buds and decided to partner up with the UICA to present the Big Screen Cuisine series. The series features a variety of foodie-approved films, including both aforementioned movies and a slew of others. Each movie is accompanied by a workshop, class or dinner exploring the films’ culinary creations. “Ultimately, I’m just always looking for interesting ways to engage in the community from a culinary perspective,” O’Haire said. For December’s Big Screen Cuisine, O’Haire decided to go all out with a screening of the Danish classic Babette’s Feast, followed by a specially prepared six-course dinner inspired by the exact feast featured in the 1987 film.

“The movie itself centers on a meal this French chef puts on for the town,” O’Haire said. “What I’m doing is recreating that meal for everyone after they’ve watched the movie.” Tickets to the dinner are $75 and include a movie pass. The dinner includes Blinis Demidoff au Caviar (pancakes with caviar), Caille en Sarcophage (stuffed quails in puff pastry), Chicory and Walnut Salad as well as three more mouthwatering courses and an assortment of wine, champagne, cognac and coffee. Of course each month’s film and event pairing will differ wildly from the next. Whether it’s a wine-tasting class led by sommeliers (paired with the comedy Sideways), or a screening of Ratatouille followed by a class on how to make traditional French ratatouille from scratch, there’s a little something here for all film and grub buffs. “We tried to actively make it a community series as opposed to catering to just people with kids, people who have a ton of money to blow on expensive food or just people who really want to learn how to cook,” O’Haire said. A little word to the wise: Get your tickets early. Past events have sold out in 10 days or less. To purchase tickets, visit uica. org/movies. n

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule


REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

by Rich Tupica

Comedy At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000


December 3-5

E PETE LE10 -12



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DecemMCCULL ber 17 OUGH -19

ILL G E N Y DWAember 26 Dec


Dec 31 & Jan 2

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Q&A: Netflix Premieres Bill Burr’s ‘F is For Family’ Stand-Up Star Chats About New Animated Series


couple months back B i ll Burr brought his edgy stand-up comedy to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, this month his new half-hour animated series debuts via Netflix. The half-hour streaming show, F is for Family, is based on Burr’s own childhood and features voice work from Burr, Laura Dern and Justin Long. It follows the Murphy family, a blur-collar household living in the 1970s, “a time when you could smack your kid, smoke inside and bring a gun to the airport.” The entire six-episode season debuts Friday, Dec. 18. Burr told Revue that F is For Family arose from his autobiographical comedy routines. “The beginning of it was just me telling family stories on stage about me growing up,” said Burr, who created the show along with Simpsons writer/producer Michael Price. Here’s what else he had to say. F is For Family is focused on a 1970s family, why did you choose to go back in time on this? A new generation came along and they were just raised differently. They wore helmets when they rode bicycles, they had play dates. It was much more of a supervised childhood, which I’m not saying is better or worse. But some of my old stories started to get groans from the crowds – people felt bad for me. I’d just think, “Dude, don’t Bill Burr feel bad for me. This is hilarious!” I deserved all of the stuff that happened to me. I was out walking my dog one day and thought, “What if I just animate these stories?” Maybe that’s a way to get it across, because it’s using cartoon people. They’d think, “Oh, it’s just animated people.” How did it go from bits in your stand up to a full-fledged show on Netflix? Initially I was just going to do these little five minute videos on my website, then I ended up meeting up with Vince Vaughn’s company,

Bill Burr’s new animated series debuts on Netflix Dec. 18.

Wild West, and I just threw it out there. They wanted to do a cartoon and four and half years later it’s finally coming out. Once we got Mike Price from The Simpsons on board it just really took off and we really started running downhill with the thing. Mike is just a creative force and the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever met in this business. How is it working with Netflix? Do they tell you to tone it down? Netflix has just been awesome. They have been telling us to push it further. I’ve never got notes like that from a network. It’s usually, “Tone it down, tone it down – we have advertisers.” Netflix is free of all of that. I think that’s why they’re taking over the world. They let you do what you want to do. How did you choose the writers for the show? How we went with Mike Price, aside from his amazing resume, was he had the same kind of dad, friends and childhood. So when we put together the writer’s room for the show we’d talk to the writers and hear their childhood stories. If they’d tell us, “Well, we went to church every week and had a nice complete breakfast” — we were like, “All right, that person is out.” But if they came in and were like, “Yeah, my brother used to beat me up and throw me down the stairs. There were bullies on my block and we used to steal lumber from the houses being built up the street so we could build trees houses,” then we’d be like, “OK, here we go. I think we got ourselves a writer here.” n


From The Big Screen to the Broadway Stage. How the Academy Award-winning Indie film sensation was transformed into the 8-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. MILLER AUDITORIUM | (269) 387- 2300 | MILLERAUDITORIUM.COM

Once The Musical, Monday & Tuesday, Jan. 25 & 26 @ 7:30 p.m. Original Australian Company, Photos by Jeff Busby

In 2007, the charming, off-beat Irish film Once opened to glowing reviews and quickly developed a fervent following. The touching, lyrical musical tells the story of two down-on-their-luck musicians, an angst-ridden Dublin street singer/ songwriter who works as a vacuum repairman, and a Czech immigrant who sells flowers in order to support herself and her family. Girl (as she is known) initiates a friendship with Guy (as he is known), and in the course of a week they make music together, fall in love and part, but not before changing each other’s lives. The movie’s stars, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, also wrote much of the score, and received an Oscar for their beautiful ballad, “Falling Slowly.” The film was turned into a Broadway musical and won eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Direction of a Musical. Once is simultaneously graceful and gritty. The 12 adult members of the cast play at least one instrument and are onstage virtually throughout the show. “I didn’t want anyone onstage who we

RUSH Once Encore Broadway Ad.indd 1

catches glimpses of the lives of the other didn’t get to know intimately,” says John Tiffan — characters. “We needed to be sure that there are Director. By individualizing each character, adds all these other love stories in the air. Each person Enda Walsh —Writer, “we built a community, is riffing off a love that’s been lost, that got away. and that became the heart of the piece. They’re That was the key: for the audience to feel part of an ensemble of misshapen people who sing and the experience, and also to look at tell the story. Watching them play the music and sing and the people on the stage and go, ... I felt like I was find their voice is very beautiful ‘They’re us.’” watching it with and very strong. But in addition The material has proved to be as to making it about community, everyone I’ve powerful onstage as it is on film. “I we also wanted the show to think what’s very moving about the ever loved ... be hugely communal. So how piece is how sometimes we meet do we do that? We allow the people who we don’t necessarily audience onstage.” stay with forever, but they give us the resources to Prior to the start of the show, the audience is move on to the next part of our life,” says Tiffany. welcome to come onstage and mingle with the “There’s something very truthful in that. People have said to me, ‘When I was sitting in the theatre cast, who are having a jam session. This bonding watching Once, I felt like I was watching it with ritual doesn’t merely break the fourth wall; it obliterates it. “We wanted the audience to everyone I’ve ever loved, whether or not they’re still in my life.’” own the experience,” says Walsh. As the show unfolds, the focus is, of course, on the relationship between Guy and Girl, but the audience also

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interesting how a

is more agreeable at a


when there’s steak and wine involved.

Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

76 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015



taste this

Coffee Connoisseurs

Four Spots in GR with Premium, Hand-Crafted Coffee |  by Kristen Guilbert

Cappuccino at Rowster

Photo: Seth Nelson

satisfaction. While Grand Rapids is known for its selection of breweries, the city’s flourishing selection of independently owned coffee shops bring in a caffeine-seeking crowd that is just as passionate. Here are a few to get you started.

From humble beginnings, this culturally rich coffee shop sprouted from owner Marco Medina’s passion for his Central American roots. “We have a lot of heart,” said Mary Rose, co-owner of Mayan Buzz. “Marco and I opened this just based on a dream and not a lot of money.” Through hard work and perseverance, they brought the Mayan Buzz to life in September 2013 and created an open and accepting atmosphere for the coffee lovers of Grand Rapids. The Mayan Buzz is just another unique link in the ever-growing Grand Rapids coffee-lovers community. “The coffee scene here is as vibrant as the beer scene,” Rose said. “All of the shops are different in their own ways, and there’s enough room for all of them.” The shop specializes in Central American coffees, as well as Mayan inspired signature drinks, like their Spicy Mayan Mocha, made of spicy dark chili chocolate, espresso, milk and cayenne pepper. Another drink is their Frozen Horchata, a coconut and cinnamon frozen drink much like the traditional Central American rice drink. They also serve delicious breakfast sandwiches and have open mic nights for poets and singers around the city. Cold brew coffee is another popular addition to the menu. It is brewed for 18-24 hours. “It has a super intense, rich flavor with a huge caffeine pack,” Rose said. The cold brew is a good option for those seeking some extra caffeine. As for the vibe, Rose said the shop brings in a variety of people throughout the day. “It’s one of those nonjudgmental, welcoming places where people can come in and be themselves,” Rose said. “A lot of people have said that Mayan Buzz is like their living room. It creates community and a neighborhood feel.”

Continued on page 78 8

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule


hen entering a coffee shop, one is welcomed by the warm and comforting aroma of richly roasted beans and fresh, brewed coffee. The cozy and aromatic atmosphere entices the senses and the first sip of an artfully crafted beverage brings the utmost

Mayan Buzz

REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


Recommended Drink: Mayan Mocha, $5.65 208 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Sun.–Wed., 24 hours, Thurs.–Sat., 6 a.m.–Midnight, (616) 608-3052

Coffee shops, continued from previous page

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Madcap Well known for its specialty coffee, Madcap opened in 2008 and was built on the strong foundation of a love for the coffee shop experience. Madcap is different from many other local coffee shops because they source and roast all of their coffee beans. Coowner Ryan Knapp spends time traveling across the globe seeking out the best available coffee while building relationships with the farmers and importers. “Specialty isn’t just a froufrou term,” said retail operations manager Ryan Wojton. “It’s actually a term referring to the grading scale of coffee. It is rated on a zero to 100 scale and anything above 80 is considered specialty.” Madcap standards are to work with some of the best coffee in the world and to make sure the best sourcing and quality in all of its ingredients is being provided. They source their milk from local dairies and make their own almond milk. They ensure the ingredients that aren’t made at Madcap are made with the same care that Madcap uses for their coffee. “We roast our beans on the lighter side to draw out the best flavors in our coffee,” Wojton said. Most of the coffee at Madcap is brewed by the cup, but small batches are also available for people who don’t have time to wait. Along with coffee, they also serve traditional espresso drinks. The baristas at Madcap are methodically trained to serve coffee, starting with just the register, then brewing coffee and eventually the manual espresso machine. This usually takes around a year before workers become espresso certified. Wojton said their regulars span from business professionals to college students in search of classy caffeine. “It’s a mix between lawyers and financial advisors, college students and hipsters,” he said. “You can’t argue with quality. It’s not something only young people will understand. If someone likes good coffee, they’re going to like it here.” Recommended Drink: Café Miel (latte with cinnamon and raw honey,) $4.75 98 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.–3 p.m., (888) 866-9091

78 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand Established in 2007, The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand has a vintage vibe and is located in what was once a historic hardware store. The Sparrows serves fair trade, Madcap traditional espresso. They have Madcap brewed coffee and also serve brewed coffee from a rotating guest roaster. “We were trained by the folks at Madcap to serve their coffee to the best of our abilities,” said owner Lori Slager Wenzel. “We weigh out our espresso as specific and scientifically as possible to create the best results.” Delightful, high-quality coffee drinks are not all that The Sparrows has to offer. They make two of their own simple syrups in house: Plain and lavender. The shop also carries a variety of tea blends, uniquely displayed for customers’ convenience. “We have around 70 or more tea options,” Wenzel said. “All of our teas are from Michigan-based distributers. We try to serve products that are as local and high quality as possible.” They also make their own chai tea in the store, which is featured in their popular seasonal drink called Chaider. This is a blend of chai and cider, steamed together to create a delightful apple cinnamon drink for the fall. It is usually available from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. One feature that sets The Sparrows apart from other independently owned coffee shops in the city is its newsstand. Offered are an array of magazines, ranging from literary journals to self-published poetry, fashion magazines and current events. “The magazines are a fun way to bring in new people,” Wenzel said. And when it comes to local competition, Wenzel said it’s more of a family affair. “Everyone has their own unique specialties that they offer that are different from what everyone else has,” she said. “Coffee shop people are coffee shop people. They don’t just go to one – all of our regulars are everyone else’s regulars. I don’t view the other shops as competitors. We’re all kind of in this together.” Recommended Drink: Dirty Harry (an earl grey tea latte with honey and soy milk), $4.75 1035 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Mon.–Fri., 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun., 9 a.m.–10 p.m., (616) 608-3375

Rowster Coffee Prior to having its own storefront, Rowster Coffee began in the back room of a gallery in Grand Rapids. At that time, its function was primarily roasting beans. It started as a tasting room and evolved into a hip and comfortable café. Kaitlynn Broadbooks, barista and event coordinator, explained what Rowster specializes in. “Our beans are the special part, as well as our unique roasting style.” Rowster prepares espresso-based drinks and pour-over coffee for their brew bar. Its beans tend to stay on the light to medium roast level. This brings out natural flavors and unique aromas. “Everything is fresh and we really try to treat each person as they walk in with a unique experience,” Broadbooks said. “We just want you to leave feeling like you had the best, not only cup of coffee, but interaction and full café experience. “We love when people come in here and geek out about coffee,” she added. “We like to teach customers new brew methods and talk to them about why our roasting is special.” The staff at Rowster is small and very passionate about coffee — they’re willing to spread their knowledge. “The atmosphere creates a welcoming and learning experience,” Broadbooks said. “We want it to be very educational for people if they want it to be. I hope eager people are brought in — whether it’s coffee enthusiasts or people who just really like good coffee.” Recommended Drink: Pour-over, $4 632 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., (616) 780-7777 n


JO IN T H E -vegan pizzas and Check out our new winter menu featuri ng vegan pizzas, not-so call to build-y our-ow n! a us breakf ast pies. Not seeing a pizza you dig? Visit us or give

breakfast pies vegan pies

A u N at u r a l e

Marinara & sunflower ricotta base w i t h k a l e , b ro c c o l i , t e m p e h b a c o n , c h o r i z o w a l n u t c r u m b l e s , sunflower nacho cheese & almond parmesan. $15/18/22

C u r r y Garlic curr y base with buffalo tofu, broccoli, kim chi, atomic sauce & almond parmesan. $15/18/22 BBQ VEGAn

Housemade barbeque base topped with teriyaki glazed sietan, caramelized onions, banana p e p p e r s a n d a c h i l i r a n c h d r i z z l e o v e r t h e e n t i re p i e $ 1 5 / 1 8 / 2 2

All breakfast pizzas come prepared on our thicker garlic crust. All sizes available, nine square slices in all. Available 12 PM – 4 PM.

Fried Egg Pizza

F re n c h o n i o n b a s e , b l a c k b e a n s , t h re e f r i e d e g g s , k a l e a n d h o m e f r i e s t o p p e d w i t h o u r m o z z a re l l a - p ro v o l o n e m i x . $ 1 5 / 1 8 / 2 2

Scrambled Egg Pizza

Pe s t o b a s e , I t a l i a n s a u s a g e o r t e m p e h s a u s a g e , s c r a m b l e d e g g s o r t of u , c h o r i z o w a l n u t s , t o p p e d w i t h m o z z a re l l a - p ro v o l o n e m i x o r v e g a n cashew cheese. $15/18/22


What we’ve got is what yo u g e t ! I t ’s l o a d e d , i t ’s a w e s o m e , it’s always vegan. Always star ts wi t h a s u n f l o w e r r i c o t t a & m a r i nara sauce base. Ser ved on our t h i c k e r g a r l i c c r u s t . $ 1 5 / 1 8 / 2 2

V e g a n B r e a k f a s t S t r o m b o l i Tof u scramble, seasonal veggies, homefries, sunflower nacho cheese and atomic sauce. $15/18/22


Omelet Pizza

B a c o n , s e a s o n a l g re e n s a n d I t a l i a n sausage, all tossed in an omelet baked over our crust with a maple garlic base. $15/18/22

Chorizo walnuts, caramelized onions, broccoli, seasonal greens & cashew cheese. $13/16/20

other pies


Bacon and Eggs Pizza

Straight ahead c l a s s i c ! B a c o n a n d e g g s s c r a m b l e d a c ro s s o u r c r u s t , t o p p e d w i t h s a u t é e d k a l e , b ro c c o l i , g o a t c h e e s e a n d f re s h m o z z a re l l a . J u s t ask for the vegan version, we can do it! $15/18/22

Bacon aioli, bacon, caramelized onions, chorizo walnuts & house blend cheese. $ 1 6 / 2 0 / 2 4

CLASSIC Caramelized onions, Italian sausage and mushrooms with a marinara base and our house blend cheese. $ 1 3 / 1 6 / 2 0





Thursday Any two 18” specialty pizzas (includes signature menu pizzas & weekly specials) for $30

Herbed garlic butter base, housemade meatballs, & seasonal greens with our house blend cheese, fresh mozzarella & goat cheese. $ 1 5 / 1 8 / 2 2 Marinara sauce, banana peppers, Italian sausage, meatballs, bacon, caramelized onions and mushrooms all on our thicker garlic crust. $16/18/22


Italian sausage, caramelized onions, goat cheese and house blend cheese. $13/16/20

to or der , cal l 616 .49 0.4 911

to 10 p.m. Deliv ery/ resta uran t Hour s: Wed. to sun.: 12 noon

Two 18” 1-topping pizzas & large

breadsticks for $20

Friday 18” 2-topping pizza & a large salad for $25 Saturday 18” special pizza & pizza rolls for $25 Sunday 18” special pizza & breadsticks for $20

9503 10 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 4 cials e p s y l i a d r o f e g a p k o o V i s i t o u r Fa c e b


REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


Taste This

Meet the Chefs

Local Tastemakers from San Chez, Winchester and Electric Cheetah |  by Nicolette Chambery

You may know your resident servers and bartenders, but do you know who’s masterminding your favorite local dishes? Revue chatted with a few local chefs about how they got started in the kitchen and what’s new on each of their menus.


aron Ste k, 40, h ead ch e f at San Ch ez in Grand Rapids, chatted with Revue about his modest beginnings at a book store café, family life, and how he keeps things fresh in his kitchen. Here’s what he had to say.

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

How would you describe the San Chez menu to a newbie? It’s a Spanish-influenced small-plate menu based on the concept of Tappas, which is the Spanish dinging experience. It involves going out and eating a number of small, unique dishes rather than bouncing around town trying a variety of things from different sources. We try to wrap it all up into one package here. It’s kind of like going to dinner at Grandma’s house: You have a whole variety of plates on the table and you just pass and share. That’s the way it works best.

What are you up to when you’re not at San Chez? We have three sons at home, they keep me very busy. We have a half dozen chickens, Cub Scouts — that’s a lot of fun. We cook for family and friends. We also like to play in the kitchen, just experiment and show our boys how to cook and get them excited about cooking, as well. When did you first decide to become a chef ? My first real taste was at Schuler Books & Music and Café on 28th Street when they first opened that place up. That was around 1995 or so. That’s where the interest was sparked and the whole notion of going to school for the culinary arts was put into my brain. I went to Grand Rapids Community College, their culinary program. The staff I was working with at Schuler inspired me to go. Today, there are a lot more people interested in this career compared to when I first started. When I went to school we certainly had full classes and all of that, but now you have to plan a year or two in advance if you want to go there.

80 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

You’re the head chef at San Chez, when did you start the job? I started at San Chez in the late summer of ’96 and stayed there until 2004. Then I left and came back in February of this year.

San Chez Head Chef Aaron Stek with a new roasted butternut squash dish. PHOTO: Katy batdorff

Since your return, how much control do you have over the menu? I have a fair bit of creative control over the menu. There are definitely core items that I wouldn’t consider changing and others you just can’t change – they’ve been on the menu since we opened. They are things people expect.

Can you recommend a vegetarian dish? My favorite one is the Champinones. It is wild mushrooms I’m sourcing from Scottville, Mich. They are just to die for. They are big and juicy with a little salt and butter. Then we serve it up with a Cherry Reduction, which pulls out the flavors, it’s almost like a meat dish in mushroom form.

What’s the most popular item? The Blue Cheese Fritters are a main core item. In the years I’ve been here we’ve played with them or attempted to take them off the menu and there’s been absolute outrage. It’s a hot ticket item. During the three weeks of ArtPrize we sold close to 3,000 Blue Cheese Fritters. There are probably 20 items on the menu that are just engrained. You can’t go anywhere with them because they’re part of who we are.

How focused are you on using local ingredients? I get as much local product as we can feasibly get. We like to purchase through local venders, we like to purchase local products. We work with Farm Link a lot to bring things in. Right now we’re bringing in over 100 pounds of butternut squash each week from Heidi’s Farmstand out in Cascade. We get locally sourced maple syrup and, really, whatever I can get my hands on. —Interview by Rich Tupica

The Electric Cheetah

1015 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-4779


or those traveling down Wealthy Street, you’ve no doubt passed by The Electric Cheetah and noticed a small pool of people outside anxiously awaiting their turn for a table. That hungry, eager crowd is there thanks in part to Executive Chef Brian Oosterheert. He’s worked at Electric Cheetah on and off for six years. Oosterheert, 29, originally set out to become a teacher, but began working in fine dining in California after he changed his mind and eventually went to culinary school. “What’s different in California than Grand Rapids is the strange combinations of food people are willing to try that isn’t embraced as much in the Midwest,” Oosterheert said. “Because of this, there aren’t as many culinary trends as much as what people want to eat.” As a result, menu items won’t necessarily change drastically each year apart from the changes you’ll find from seasonal produce and the different pairings of pre-approved items. Nonetheless, like many other passionate local chefs, Oosterheert insists on evolving and creating new menu items – not only for customers, but to maintain his own sanity and to preserve the creativeness of his chefs. “You can just see when people go to cook and there’s not that passion behind it,” he said. “It’s nice for us to try new things. If you don’t go out to eat very often you can come in and try something new on the menu.” As for the day-to-day, Oosterheert’s 70-hour work week begins most days at 7 a.m. with a pot of coffee and ends whenever the work is done. Is it worth it? “I love it,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything else.”

New/Revised Menu Items: Porkergeist: Toasted ciabatta, pimiento cheese, smoked pork, bacon, charred poblano and haystack onions.

The Lee Majors: Roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, fresh apple, quinoa, arugula, shaved parmesan, cider vinaigrette with a maple drizzle.

The Winchester



38 Fulton St. W, Grand Rapids, (616) 774-8272

hane Behning is a poster child for the old “hard work pays off” adage. He started at San Chez more than a decade ago as a dishwasher and gradually worked his way up to sous chef. It was a chance gig that turned into a fervent career at the popular tapas bistro. “It just clicked for me. I didn’t plan on it at all,” Behning said. “A friend of mine got me the job. Eventually I started working in the kitchen a bit and found I really enjoyed it.” Having practiced veganism for a time, Behning’s base knowledge of how to wield vegetables into delectable meals came in handy in those formative years in the kitchen. “I went through different stages when I was vegan, which made me pay more attention to food and helped prepare me for this role,” Behning said. These days, when it comes to finding inspiration for his recipes, Behning, 31, said it’s a never ending search for original flavors. “I tend to look around the kitchen and start playing around with what I find,” he said.“I’ll do some research, too – to see if a form of it has been done before and if I can find a way to put a different twist on it. I look to see what we can have fun with and still keep with the theme of the restaurant.” Behning has noticed restaurants around the city that are increasingly embracing the chance to partner with local food sources – keeping the menu at San Chez, and other local hot spots, as fresh as possible. “A lot of the restaurants are really trying to utilize the local businesses and it’s great how that’s blown up,” he said. “Hopefully we make more and more steps toward that and only use what’s in season. The city is making a lot of good steps toward that.”

648 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-4969

native of Michigan originally from Traverse City, Ryan Martin made his way down to Grand Rapids eight years ago. He joined the team at Winchester in 2010 filling various positions in the kitchen until he was offered the role of sous chef. He eventually became head chef. Growing up, he remembers sitting on a stool next to his mom in the kitchen watching her cook, which bore his creative passion for food. As the lead chef at Winchester, Martin strives to create menu items that complement the warm atmosphere of the restaurant—the earth tones, the exposed brick and industrial feel of the building itself. Guests can expect menu options that are savory, simple and seasonal. “(It’s about) creating with what you can get within arm’s reach, utilizing local farms, which is a huge trend in the Midwest right now,” Martin said. “[Customers] are going to be stoked about it,” Martin said about the grassroots movement. “Michigan is huge with their agriculture. Why wouldn’t we want to do that?”

New/Revised Menu Items:

Pierogis: Bacon braised cabbage, brown butter, pig cheeks, potatoes and a horseradish cream.   Crab Toasts: Traditional crab cake mix to spread on focaccia with mustard aioli.   Chicken Wings: Barbeque-spiced dressing, smoked gouda and honey. n

New/Revised Menu Items: Butternut Squash: Winter squash, brown butter and roasted pecans. Trout: Scored rainbow trout stuffed with lingua sausage. Almond Milk Brined Lamb Ribs: Sautéed rosemary polenta cake with an apple-raison red wine reduction.   Spanish Eggrolls: Shredded chicken, cabbage, chilies, cumin spices and brown sugar.

Winchester Lead Chef Ryan Martin REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Thanksgiving City: Char grilled bacon wrapped turkey and stuffing, meatloaf over garlic whipped potatoes, rosemary gravy, cranberry chutney, arugula and haystacks.

San Chez


/// Beer

Ho Ho Hum.

Revue tries to find a reason to drink the beers of the season |  by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar

L Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

et’s be honest: Christmastime will drive you to drink — and there are plenty of opportunities at holiday parties to imbibe. But there’s one major problem. Brewers have used the season as a reason for making holiday-themed craft beers, which simply serve to distract drinkers from the many dozens of styles out there that are just so much better tasting (at least in this writer’s opinion). Most holiday beers are a take on the winter warmer style with a generous dose of malty sweetness and spices. Save the hoppy bitterness for another time because these beers typically exist to showcase spices like clove, nutmeg and cardamom. They’re also a bit higher in alcohol harshness to give the drinker that warming quality you need about mid-December. Regardless of our predilections for other styles, we decided to set aside our War on Christmas Beers for a day to see how they stacked up. To make the tasting infinitely more bearable, we paired the beverages with Ewephoria (an aged sheep’s milk gouda) and Randolphe Fourme Au Moelleux (a blue cheese wrapped with sweet wine) from Aperitivo, as well as lemon ginger clove and iced molasses cookies from Sweetie-licious Bake Shop. Both shops are located in the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids. Participating judges for this tasting session, which was not a blind comparison, included: n Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar and all around Scrooge on anything related to Christmas. n Rachel Harper, designer at sister publication MiBiz who’s cautiously open-minded to holiday beers. n Kim Kibby, designer for Revue who doesn’t trust how Christmas beers smell. n Nate Peck, former scribe turned production scheduler at a Grand Rapids manufacturer who admits Christmas beers are a guilty pleasure. Here’s what we found out.

82 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing, Cleveland, Ohio 7.5% ABV Manufacturer’s description: Do not open ’til Christmas? Whoever coined that phrase obviously hasn’t tasted Christmas Ale’s fresh honey, cinnamon and ginger flavors. A Yuletide’s worth of holiday spices and sweet honey to keep you awassailing all season long. Pair with roast duck, spiced desserts and ugly Christmas sweaters. Judges’ take: Here’s an example of a beer that’s well-refined to provide a festive nose and a pleasant flavor. What’s more, you can taste the individual spices and the honey and still tell there are some hops present as well. It’s not overpowering — meaning the beer is very drinkable. This is what Christmas should taste like. Score: 82.75


Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore. 6.7% ABV Manufacturer’s description: A robust ale with a warming spice. Intriguing, layered flavors unfold to reveal chicory, dried fruit and toffee notes with a hoppy kick to finish. The deep garnet color pairs perfectly with holiday celebrations.

Judges’ take: This beer follows the Goldilocks principle: The amount of spice is enough for you to notice it, but not too much so that it overpowers the beer. Its spiciness and sweetness are truly just right. This winter warmer also pairs incredibly well with a molasses cookie — ideally consumed next to a roaring fire. Score: 80.5

4 Elf

Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall, Mich. 8.75% ABV Manufacturer’s description: 4 Elf is holiday cheer in liquid form. Spicy aromas like cinnamon and clove give this dark brown winter warmer a proper holiday welcome. Balanced between malt, hops and spice, at 8.75% ABV, this beer goes great with all holiday foods — from sweet snacks to the roast beast. Judges’ take: Pours darker than most holiday beers with an off-white head. The aroma: CLOVES!!! The spices overpower this beer to a point. Said one judge: “If you want a spicy winter warmer, you could do a lot worse.” Another was more complimentary: “Spicy, sweet and boozy:

my favorite combo.” Should taste amazing with pumpkin pie. Score: 73.5

2XMas Ale

Southern Tier Brewing Co., Lakewood, N.Y. 8.0% ABV Manufacturer’s description: We were inspired by a Glogg party … to brew a beer that pays tribute to this Nordic tradition. 2XMas Ale combines traditional brewing ingredients with figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root. Pair with sausages, korv, fish, pickled herring, rich cheeses, holiday cookies and cake. Judges’ take : This beer ascribes to the Clark Griswold extreme Christmas decoration principle for holiday beers. “It tastes like the Gingerbread man exploded in my glass. Nothing subtle here,” one reviewer wrote. The taste is maximum cardamom that overpowers anything else in the beer. It’s intense — “like getting kicked in the face by Rudolph.” Score: 71.25

The Merry Elf

Atomic Apple

Manufacturer’s description: This dark ale is made with candi sugar and orange peel.

Manufacturer’s description: The base starts as our Uncle John’s fresh apple cider which we ferment and blend with candy flavors of your childhood to make this spicy and festive cider. Semisweet, gluten-free.

Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven, Mich. 5.8% ABV

Judges’ take: It’s dark in color. The aroma is slightly sweet and reminiscent of candi sugar. Orange peel is negligible. There’s a nice flavor and it’s drinkable, but it lacks the “wow” factor. “I want this to be more than it is,” one judge said. Score: 70.0

Christmas Ale

Bell’s Brewery, Galesburg, Mich. 5.5% ABV Manufacturer’s description : Bell’s [created] Christmas Ale [as a] sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. … [It is] intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them. Judges’ take: A hazy pour, this beer is all about the bready malts. It smells “like fresh bread out of the oven,” according to one judge. While the beer is definitely drinkable, its flavors remain rather subtle, an understated quality that may be appreciated by those who’ve had quite enough yuletide. Score: 68.25


Uncle John’s Cider, St. Johns, Mich. 6.5% ABV

Judges’ take: Imagine what cider would look like if it were exposed to Chernobyl. It’s fluorescent, neon and aggressive. The scent and the flavor are of spiced apples, but just — weird. Said one judge: “Do you remember when people would dissolve Jolly Ranchers in Zimas? That is this (cider).” Score: 52.5

Christmas Town Ale

Frankenmuth Brewery, Frankenmuth, Mich. 6% ABV Manufacturer’s description: Christmas Town Ale (an American spiced ale) combines sweet toasted dark malts with American hops to create a medium-bodied spiced ale with a taste and aroma that is unmistakably Christmas. Judges’ take: Pours a dark amber. It features a malty and sweet nose with some astringency and it finishes “cottony,” according to one reviewer. This is a “meh” beer. Drink one if it’s handed to you, but don’t seek it out. Score: 56.25

Winter Ale

ROAK Brewing, Royal Oak, Mich. 6.6% ABV

Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, Alaska 6.4% ABV

Manufacturer’s description: With just the right amount of spice and a toasty malt body, this [Belgian style spiced] brown ale will put a spell on you. We’ve added only the best Michigan apples to create an ale that is warming, spicy and crisp. Pair with apple pie, beef stew or brie.

Manufacturer’s description: Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.

Lebkuchen Christmas Ale

Atwater Brewing Co., Detroit 6.2% ABV

Manufacturer’s description: The Lebkuchen Christmas Ale is a deep amber ale that blends the malty base of Maris Otter pale malt, walnut notes of Dark Munich malt, raisin and toffee flavors of a deep Caramel malt. Judges’ take: It’s a malty one. Definitely brewed in the German tradition, this beer features some dark fruit and raisin notes, but its body is fairly thin. Also, there’s not much aroma. Nice amber color. Score: 62.75

Judges’ take: This has a malty/bready sweetness, but very little if any of the spruce comes through. In fact, it’s rather bland, with a thin, watery body. “Like a pair of socks you get on Christmas morning — vaguely unsatisfying,” said one reviewer. Score: 51.5

Blitzen Festivus Ale

North Peak Brewing Co., Traverse City 6.8% ABV

Manufacturer’s description: North Peak Blitzen is a Festivus Ale with a complex malt characteristic and Michigan Chinook and Cascade hops. Rye malt provides a crisp spiciness for well-balanced, rich Festivus Ale. Judges’ take: Our reviewers were decidedly curt in describing this underwhelming, “boring” beer. Matching it with blue cheese pulled some flavor out of the beer, but not much. One wrote: “This is a rye pale ale. It is what it says it is.” Another said: “It had a cool name.” Score: 49.25 n

$25 For a

Lifetime Membership B.O.B.’s Beer Discounts / Personalized Mug Exclusive Offers & Events / & More


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Judges’ take: Pours cloudy and smells like potpourri and apple pie thanks to what seems to be copious amounts of nutmeg. It has a “velvety mouthfeel” and made one reviewer feel “like rolling in a pile of fallen leaves.” Others thought it was more “middle of the road.” Score: 68.25


by Audria Larsen


Hot Spots: Gay Bars

A Quick Guide to the Local LGBTQ Nightlife


hile West Michigan’s LGBTQ nightlife hot spots are not as plentiful as they once were, the raging clubs and quiet bars you can find in our region are legendary. Whether you’re intent on cruising the night away, showing off your pipes at karaoke or workin’ it in a pageant, here are some Michigan fixtures.

GRAND RAPIDS Apartment Lounge A Grand Rapids mainstay, tucked in an unassuming corner of downtown, The Apartment Lounge has been a favorite among loyal regulars for over 40 years and boasts the title of being Michigan’s oldest, continuously operating gay bar. The low key atmosphere offers a cozy and welcoming space and the original co-owners and longtime life partners Ed Ladner and Milt Lennox prided themselves on knowing everyone’s name. The community mourns Lennox’s recent passing as he was beloved by all who knew him. 33 Sheldon Ave, NE, Grand Rapids. (616) 451-0815.

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Rumors Nightclub Home to numerous drag pageants and performances, like Grand Rapids Drag Race and amateur cabaret, along with karaoke nights and wild dance events featuring fun themes like foam parties, Rumors Nightclub is a place where you can strut your stuff and catch a show. The spacious dance floor and mirrored walls make for perfect evenings of

84 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2015

bumping and grinding or offer ample visibility while watching your favorite queens dominate the scene. 69 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids. (616) 454-8720.

KALAMAZOO Metro Nightclub Metro Nightclub recently reopened this year after a short hiatus and is currently the only official gay bar in Kalamazoo. With evening hours only, Metro is a dance party destination. Dance nights, themed parties and weekly karaoke paired with nightly drink specials offer action every night of the week. 411 N Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo. (269) 276-9240.

SAUGATUCK/ DOUGLAS The Dunes Resort Perfect for a weekend getaway or a night of partying, the Dunes Resort is heralded as the LGBTQ getaway destination in

the Midwest. Nestled in the gay-friendly Saugatuck/Douglas community, The Dunes has offered endless entertainment options for 34 years and counting. From the poolside bar and live cabaret at the show bar, to the outdoor patio bar and relaxing Vinyl Lounge with billiards and video games, there is something for everyone. If you’re opting for an overnight visit, you can choose from cottages, motel rooms and suites. Or enjoy the duplex that comes with a fully stocked kitchen and a private outdoor jacuzzi. Regular theme nights keep the party fresh and special weekends are held to accommodate every persuasion. 333 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas. (269) 857-1401.

BATTLE CREEK Partner’s Battle Creek Live entertainment is the name of the game at Partner’s Battle Creek. With regular drag shows and events like The Men of Manwatch

and The Bad Girls Club, you can almost always catch a show. And if cabaret isn’t for you, live DJs keep the party pumping on the dance floor. 910 North Avenue, Battle Creek. (269) 964-7276.

LANSING Spiral Dance Bar Spiral Dance Bar features fancy décor like brushed metal detailing and lounge areas replete with velveteen seating. But, more than a just pretty place to enjoy nightlife, Spiral is home to an eclectic array of events from drag shows and pageants, to burlesque and variety shows like the bi-monthly event Glitter Disco. With a focus on entertainment and regular themed parties, on any given night you can find go-go dancers on the bar, aerialists suspended from the ceiling and outrageous performances on stage. 1247 Center St., Lansing. (517)371-3221.

Esquire Bar Gay-friendly and a little fancy, Esquire offers a welcoming spot to imbibe cheap drinks with pals. Weekly specials include frequent, hearty drink discounts and free pool, plus bingo and Euchre nights. Not to mention the requisite karaoke and DJ nights for you singing and dance-aholics out there. 1250 Turner St., Lansing. (517) 487-533.

MUSKEGON Club Mo’z Mo’z offers a large dance floor and live entertainment like drag shows, karaoke and stripper nights. With two bars under one roof, patrons can enjoy a quieter time in the lounge or get wild in the dance bar. 80 South Seaway Drive, Muskegon Heights. (231) 830-0190. n

WinterSpecials N O W AVA I L A B L E

W e a l t h y s t r e � t lo c ation only SE E S TOR E F OR DE TA IL S


950 WEALTHY ST SE SUITE 1A GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49506 616-356-2573





Last Call by Rei Robinson / photo by Katy Batdorff


The meticulous upstarts at Long Road Distillers (denizens of Leonard St., just left of the river) recently mixed me a cocktail. To put it to bed in a pinch, I’ll bend your ear only to tell you it was delicious and it is dubbed the Ramos Gin Fizz. It was invented by Henry Ramos in 1888 at his saloon in New Orleans. Like a tart creamsicle, it’s a perfect confection for any season, guaranteed to make your eyes roll across the floor (in ecstasy).

How to Make it: Mix: 1 oz. gin 1 oz. simple syrup 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice 1 oz. egg white ¼ oz. cream 1. Give the drink a hard dry shake, to emulsify the egg. 2. Add ice and give it a second hard shake. 3. Double-strain that mother (for presentation). 4. Top it with a fine red wine reduction 5. Garnish with six drops of Blossom Water and sink yourself into the soft hammock of the evening, or afternoon, or morning, or whenever – you’re an adult.


REVUEWM.COM | December 2015 |


December 2015, Revue Magazine  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free monthly entertainment guide covering music, arts, beer, dining and more. Each month, we dis...

December 2015, Revue Magazine  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free monthly entertainment guide covering music, arts, beer, dining and more. Each month, we dis...